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BENJ. F. TRACY, and others 

Edition de Luxe 






Copyright, 1915, by 


Chicago, 111. 





The Immigrants, 240. The Jesuits; their zeal as Teachers and 
Explorers, 241. The Chief Ahasistari, 242. The Five Nations, 
or Iroquois, 243. Father Joques, 244. The Abenakis; Dreuil- 
ettes, 245. French Settlers at Oswego — Father Allouez, 246. 
James Marquette — The Mississippi, 247. La Salle, 248. His 
Enterprise; his failure and Tragical End, 250. 




Mohawks Hostile to the French, 252. Dover Attacked; Major 
Waldron, 253. Schenectady burned — the inhuman Frontenac, 

254. The Colonists act for themselves — Invasion of Canada, 

255. Heroism of Hannah Dustin, 256. Deerfield taken; Eu- 
nice Williams, 257. D'Ibberville plants a Colony on the Pas- 
cagoula, 259. Trading Posts on the Illinois and the Missis- 
sippi, 260. The Choctaws, 261. Destruction of the Natchez, 
262. Attempts to subdue the Chickasaws, 263. King George's 
War; Capture of Louisburg, ,264f. The English Ministry 
alarmed, 266. Jonathan Edwards — The '* Great Revival/' 
267. Princeton College, 268. 



The Valley of the Ohio— French and English Claimants, 269. 
Gist, the Pioneer, 270. George Washington, 271. His Char- 
acter — His Mission to the French on the Alleghany, 273. St. 
Pierre's Letter unsatisfactory, 275. Fort du Quesne built — 
Washington sent to defend the Frontiers, 276. T^he first Con- 
flict of the War — Fort Necessity, 277. British Troops arrive 
in America, 278. Plan of Operations — General Braddock, 279. 
The Army on the March — Captain Jack, 280. The Battle of 
Monongahela, 282. Death and Burial of Braddock, 284. Dun- 
bar's Panic— The Effects of these Events. 285. 




The French Aeadiens, 288. Their Industry and good Morals, 289. 
Their Mournful Exile, 290. Expedition against Crown Point, 
292. The English Defeated— Death of Colonel Williams, 293. 
Repulse of the French — Death of Dieskau — Williams College, 
294. Kittaning destroyed, 295. Montcalm Acts with Energy, 
297. Fort William Henry taken, 298. Canada Exhausted, 



William Pitt, Prime Minister, 300. Lord Amherst — Plan of Op- 
erations — Louisburg captured, 301. English Repulsed — Fort 
Frontenac captured, 302. Washington takes Possession of 
Fort du Quesne, 303. Pittsburg, 304. The French abandon 
Ticonderoga, 305. Wolfe before Quebec, 306. The Battle on 
the Heights of Abraham, 308. Deaths of Wolfe and Mont- 
calm — their Memories, 309. Quebec Capitulates — Cherokee 
War, 310. Destruction of their Crops and Villages, 312. Pon- 
tiac, 313. Desolations along the Frontiers, 314. General Bou- 
quet, 315. Pontiac's Death, 316. 



Religious Influences among the early Settlers, 317. Love of do- 
mestic Life, 318. Laws enjoining Morality, 319. Systems of 
Education; Common Schools, 320. Free Inquiry and Civil 
Liberty, 321. John Calvin — The Anglo-Saxon Element; the 
Norman, 322. The Southerner; the Northerner — Influences in 
Pennsylvania, 323. In New York — Diversity of Ancestry, 324. 



Restrictions on Trade and Manufactures — Taxes Imposed by Par- 
liament, 326. Writs of Assistance, 327. James Otis — Samuel 
Adams, 328. The "Parsons' " Case in Virginia — Patrick 
Henry, 329. Colonel Barre's Speech— The Stamp Act, 331. 
Excitement in the Colonies — Resolutions not to use Stamps, 
333. "Sons of Liberty," 334. A Call for a Congress; it 
Meets, 335. Self-Denial of the Colonists, 336. Stamp Act 
repealed — Rejoicings, 337. 



The English Ministry determine to obtain a Revenue, 339. The 
Sloop Liberty — A British Regiment at Boston. 341. Articles 
of Association proposed by Washington, 342. Tax upon Tea, 
343. The Gaspe captured, 344. The Resolutions not to receive 
the Tea, 345. Tea Thrown into Boston Harbor — Its Recep- 
tion at other Places, 347. Boston Port Bill — Aid Sent to 
Boston, 348. Gage's Difficulties, 349. Alexander Hamilton, 
350. The Old Continental Congress— The first Prayer, 351. 
The Papers issued by the Congress, 353. 




The Spirit of the People, 355. They seize Guns and Ammunition, 

356. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress; its Measures, 

357. The Restraining Bill, 358. Conflicts at Lexington and 
Concord, 359. Volunteers fly to Arms, and Beleaguer Boston 
— Stark — Putnam, 361. Benedict Arnold — Ethan Allen, and 
the Green Mountain Boys, 362. Capture of Ticonderoga, 363. 
Lord Dunmore in Virginia — Henry and the Independent Com- 
panies, 364. The News from Lexington rouses a Spirit of Re- 
sistance, 365. The Second Continental Congress, 367. Its 
Measures, 368. Adopts the Army, and appoints Washington 
Commander-in-Chief, 369. 



Battle of Bunker Hill, 372. Death of Warren — General Charles 
Lee and Philip Schuyler, 377. State of Affairs in New York 
— Sir William Johnson, 378. Condition of the Army, 379. 
Nathaniel Greene — Morgan and his Riflemen, 380. Wants of 
the Army, 381. Expedition against Canada, 382. Richard 
Montgomery — Allen's Rash Adventure, 383. Montreal cap- 
tured — Arnold's toilsome March to Quebec, 384. That place 
besieged, 385. Failure to Storm the Town — Death of Mont- 
gomery, 386. Arnold in his icy Fortress, 387. 



Meeting of Congress — Alarming evils, 388. Portland burned — 
Efforts to defend the Coast, 389. Parliment resolves to crush 
the Rebels, 390. Henry Knox, 391. Provincial Prejudices — 
Success of the Privateers; British Theatricals; Union Flag, 
393. Affairs in New York — Rivington's Gazette, 394. Gov- 
ernor Tryon — General Lee in the City, 395. Dunmore 's Meas- 
ures — Norfork burned, 396. Defeat of North Carolina Tories, 
397. Cannon and powder obtained, 398. Dorchester Heights 
fortified — Boston evacuated, 400. Washington in New York, 
402. Numerous Disasters — Retreat from Canada, 403. Ho- 
ratio Gates, 404. A British Fleet before Fort Moultrie, 405. 
Stormy Prospects, 407. 



Independence, Influences in favor of, 409. The Tories — Common 
Sense, 410. The Declaration; its Reception by the People and 
Army, 412. Arrival of Admiral Howe, 413. His Overtures, 
414. The American Army — Sectional Jealousies, 415. The 
Clintons, 416. Battle of Long Island, 417. The Masterly Re- 
treat, 420. Incidents, 421. Howe confers with a Committee of 
Congress, 422. Nathan Hale, 423. The British at Kipp 's Bay, 
424. New York Evacuated, 425. Conflict at White Plains, 
426. Loss of Fort Washington, 428. Retreat across New 
Jersey, 429. Waywardness of Lee, 430. 




Discouragements — Howe's Proclamation, 431. Affairs on Lake 
Champlain, 432. Heroism of Arnold, 433. Capture of Lee, 
435. Battle of Trenton, 437. Battle of Princeton, 443. 
Death of Mercer, 444. Washington returns to Morristown, 
445. Cornwallis in his lines at Brunswick, 445. Putnam at 
Princeton, 446. Ill-treatment of American Prisoners, 447. 
Appointment of General Officers — Medical Department, 448. 



The Interest taken in England and France, 454. Privateers fitted 
out in France, 455. Munitions of War, 456. Howe's Man- 
oeuvres, 457. Burgoyne on his way from Canada, 457. Ticon- 
deroga captured, 458. St. Clair's retreat, 459. Capture of 
General Prescott, 460. The Secret Expedition — Germantown, 
461. Lafayette, Pulaski and Kosciusko, 462. Aid sent to 
Schuyler — Howe lands at Elkton, 464. Battle of Brandywine, 
465. Philadelphia taken possession of, 468. Battle of Ger- 
mantown, 469. Hessians repulsed at Fort Mercer, 470. Win- 
ter at Valley Forge, 471. 



Invasion from Canada — Appointment of General Gates, 472. 
Jenny McCrea, 473. St. Leger besieges Fort Stanwix, 474. 
The Attempt to relieve it, 475. Battle of Bennington, 476. 
Change of Prospects, 477. Battle of Behmus's Heights, 478. 
Ticonderoga besieged, 479. Burgoyne Surrenders his Army at 
Saratoga, 480. The Prisoners — Capture of Forts on the Hud- 
son, 482. Schuyler, 483. 



Sufferings at Valley Forge, 484. England Disappointed — Concili- 
atory Measures of Parliament, 485. The War presses hard 
upon the American people, 486. Difficulties in Congress, 487. 
The * ' Conway Cabal, ' ' 488. Baron Steuben, 490. Attempt to 
increase the army, 491. Exchange of Lee; his Treason, 492. 
Treaty with France — British Commissioners, 493. Battle of 
Monmouth, 494. Misconduct of Lee, 495. His death, 496. 
Combined attack upon Newport fails, 497. 



Dissensions in Congress, 501. Expedition against the Indians, 502. 
The War in the South, 503. ^ Marauding Expeditions sent to 
Virginia, and up the Hudson— Tryon ravages Connecticut, 504. 
Wayne Captures Stony Point, 505. Lee surprises the Garri- 
son at Jersey City — Combined assault upon Savannah, 506. 
Daniel Boon, 507. George Rogers Clarke; Kaskaskia — Pio- 
neers of Tennessee; Nashville, 508. John Paul Jones, 509. 



Too Near the War-Path. Frontispiece. (Photo-engraving from a 

John Hancock. (Woodcut from an old engraving.) 

James Otis. (Woodcut from a painting.) 

Patrick Henry Addressing the Virginia Assembly. (Engrav- 
ing from the painting by Chappel.) 

Patrick Henry. (Woodcut from an old print.) 

Samuel Adams. (Woodcut from an old print.) 

Interior of Faneuil Hall. (Engraving from a photograph.) 

Battle of Lexington. (Engraving from a steel print.) 

Retreat of the British from ConcorI*. (Engraving from the 
painting by Chappel.) 

Battle of Bunker Hill. (Engraving from Godfrey's steel plate 
of the painting by Chappel.) 

Israel Putnam. (Woodcut from a contemporaneous print.) 

Nathaniel Greene. (Woodcut from an old print.) 



George Washington. (Engraved from a painting.) 

Thomas Jefferson. (Woodcut from a contemporaneous print.) 

Reduced Fag-similes of the Signatures to the Declaration. 
(Photo-engraving from copper-plate done from the original 

Statue of Nathan Hale. (Duogravure from a photograph.) 

Washington at the Battle of Princeton. (Engraving from the 
painting by Chappel.) 

Marquis de Lafayette. (Engraving from an old print.) 



The Emigrants few in number. — The Jesuits ; their zeal as Teachers 
and Explorers. — Missions among the Hurons. — Ahasistari. — 
The Five Nations, or Iroquois. — Father Jogues. — The Abena- 
kis; Dreuilettes. — The Dangers of the Missions. — French Set- 
tlers at Oswego. — James Marquette. — The Mississippi. — La 
Salle; his Enterprise ; his Failure and tragical End. 

chap. We have already given an account of the discoveries 

'- made in New France, and the settlements founded under 

1634. £ ne c[i rec tion of Samuel Champlain. We now intend to 
trace the history of these settlements and missions, from 
that period till the time when the Lilies of France were 
supplanted by the Banner of St. George. 

The climate offered but few inducements to cultiva- 
tors of the soil, and emigrants came but slowly; they 
established trading houses, rather than argicultural set- 
tlements. To accumulate wealth their main resource was 
in the peltries of the wilderness, and these could be ob- 
tained only from the Indians, who roamed over the vast 
regions west and north of the lakes. 

A partial knowledge of the country had been obtained 
from a priest, Father Le Caron, the friend and companion 
of Champlain. He had, by groping through the woods, 
and paddling over the waters his birch-bark canoe, pene- 
trated far up the St. Lawrence, explored the south shore 
of Lake Ontario, and even found his way to Lake Huron. 

' v^^^^^JSSi ' 



Three years before the death of Champlain, Louis chap. 

XIII. gave a charter to a company, granting them the — 

control of the valley of the St. Lawrence and all its trib- 1634# 
utaries. An interest was felt for the poor savages, and it 
was resolved to convert them to the religion of Rome ; — 
not only convert them, but make them the allies of 
France. Worldly policy had as much influence as relig- 
ious zeal. It was plain, the only way to found a French 
empire in the New World, was by making the native 
tribes subjects, and not by transplanting Frenchmen. 

The missions to the Indians were transferred to the 
supervision of the Jesuits. This order of priests was 
founded expressly to counteract the influence of the 
Reformation under Luther. As the Reformers favored 1534. 
education and the diffusion of general intelligence, so the 
Jesuit became the advocate of education — provided it 
was under his own control. He resolved to rule the world 
by influencing its rulers; he would govern by intellectual 
power and the force of opinion, rather than by supersti- 
tious fears. He endeavored to turn the principles of the 
Reformation against itself. His vows enjoined upon him 
perfect obedience to the will of his superior, — to go on 
any mission to which he might be ordered. No clime so 
deadly that he would not brave its danger; no people so 
savage that he would not attempt their conversion. 

With their usual energy and zeal, the Jesuits began 
to explore the wilds of New France, and to bring its 
wilder inhabitants under the influence of the Catholic 
faith. To the convert was offered the privileges of a 
subject of France. From this sprang a social equality, 
friendly relations were established, and intermarriages 
took place between the traders and the Indian women. 

Companies of Hurons, who dwelt on the shores of the 
lake which bears their name, were on a trading expedition 
to Quebec. On their return home the Jesuits Brebeuf 
and Daniel a ompanied them. They went up the Ot- 


chap, tawa till they came to its largest western branch, thence 


'— to its head-waters, and thence across the wilderness to 

1634. ^ e ^ r v iii a g es on Georgian bay and Lake Simcoe. The 
faith and zeal of these two men sustained them during 
their toilsome journey of nine hundred miles, and though 
their feet were lacerated and their garments torn, they 
rejoiced in their sufferings. Here in a grove they built, 
with their own hands, a little chapel, in which they cele- 
brated the ceremonies of their church. The Red Man 
came to hear the morning and evening prayers ; though in 
a language which he could not understand, they seemed 
to him to be addressed to the Great Spirit, whom he him- 
self worshipped. Six missions were soon established in 
the villages around these lakes and bays. Father Brebeuf 
spent four hours of every morning in private prayer and 
self-flagellations, the rest of the day in catechizing and 
teaching. Sometimes he would go out into the village, 
and as he passed along would ring his little bell and thus 
invite the grave warriors to a conference, on the mys- 
teries of his religion. Thus he labored for fifteen years. 

These teachings had an influence on the susceptible 
heart of the great Huron chief Ahasistari. He professed 
himself a convert and was baptized. Often as he escaped 
uninjured from the perils of battle, he thought some pow- 
erful spirit watched over him, and now he believed that 
the God whom the white man worshipped was that guar- 
dian spirit. In the first flush of his zeal he exclaimed: 
"Let us strive to make all men Christians." 

Thousands of the sons and daughters of the forest 
listened to instruction, and the story of their willingness 
to hear, when told in France, excited a new interest. The 
king and queen and nobles vied with each other in mani- 
festing their regard by giving encouragement and aid to 
the missionaries, and by presents to the converts. A col- 
lege, to educate men for these missions, was founded at 
Quebec, two years before the founding of Harvard. Two 


years afterward the Ursuline convent was founded at chap. 


Montreal for the education of Indian girls, and three young — 

nuns came from France to devote themselves to that 1635, 
labor. They were received with demonstrations of joy by 
the Hurons and Algonquins. Montreal was now chosen 
as a more desirable centre for missionary operations. 

The tribes most intelligent and powerful, most war- 
like and cruel, with whom the colonists came in contact, 
were the Mohawks, or Iroquois, as the French named 
them. They were a confederacy consisting of five na- 
tions, the Senecas, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayu- 
gas, and the Mohawks — better known to the English by 
the latter name. This confederacy had been formed in 
accordance with the counsels of a great and wise chief, 1539. 
Hiawatha. Their traditions tell of him as having been 
specially guided by the Great Spirit, and that amid 
strains of unearthly music, he ascended to heaven in a 
snow-white canoe. They inhabited that beautiful and 
fertile region in Central New York, where we find the 
lakes and rivers still bearing their names. 

Their territory lay on the south shore of Lake On- 
tario, and extended to the head-waters of the streams 
which flow into the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, and 
also to the sources of the Ohio. These streams they used 
as highways in their war incursions. They pushed their 
conquests up the lakes and down the St. Lawrence, and 
northward almost to the frozen regions around Hudson's 
bay. They professed to hold many of the tribes of New 
England as tributary, and extended their influence to the 
extreme east. They made incursions down the Ohio 
against the Shawnees, whom they drove to the Carolinas. 
They exercised dominion over the Illinois and the Mi- 
amis. They were the inveterate enemies of the Hurons, 
and a terror to the French settlements — especially were 
they hostile to the missions. In vain the Jesuits strove to 
teach them; French influence could never penetrate 


chap, south of Ontario. The Mohawks closely watched the 

- passes of the St. Lawrence, and the intercourse between 

1635. ^g m i ss ionaries stationed on the distant lakes and their 
head-quarters at Montreal, was interrupted unless they 
travelled the toilsome route by the Ottawa and the wil- 
derness beyond. 
1642. An expedition from the lakes had slipped through to 
Quebec, and now it endeavored to return. As the fleet 
approached the narrows, suddenly the Mohawks attacked 
it; most of the Frenchmen and Hurons made for the op- 
posite shore. Some were taken prisoners, among whom 
was Father Jogues. The noble Ahasistari, from his 
hiding-place, saw his teacher was a prisoner; he knew 
that he would be tortured to death, and he hastened to 
him: "My brother," said he, "I made oath to thee, that 
I would share thy fortune, whether death or life ; here I 
am io keep my vow." He received absolution at the 
hands of Jogues, and met death at the stake in a manner 
becoming a great warrior and a faithful convert. 

Father Jogues was taken from place to place; in each 
village he was tortured and compelled to run the gauntlet. 
His fellow-priest, Goupil, was seen to make the sign of 
the cross on the forehead of an infant, as he secretly bap- 
tized it. The Indians thought it a charm to kill their 
children, and instantly a tomahawk was buried in the 
poor priest's head. The Dutch made great efforts,, but 
in vain, to ransom Jogues, but after some months of cap- 
tivity he made his escape to Fort Orange, where he was 
gladly received and treated with great kindness by the 
Dominie Megapolensis. Jogues went to France, but in a 
few years he was again among his tormentors as a messen- 
ger of the gospel; ere long a blow from a savage ended 
his life. A similar fate was experienced by others. Father 
Bressani was driven from hamlet to hamlet, sometimes? 
scourged by all the inhabitants, and tortured iaevery 


possible form which savage ingenuity could invent, — yet chap. 
he survived, and was at last ransomed by the Dutch. '— 

The Abenakis of Maine sent messengers to Montreal 1642, 
asking missionaries. They were granted, and Father 
Dreuilettes made his way across the wilderness to the 
Penobscot, and a few miles above its mouth established 
a mission. The Indians came to him in great numbers. 
He became as one of themselves, he hunted, he fished, he 
taught among them, and won their confidence. He gave 
a favorable report of the place, and the disposition of the 
tribes, and a permanent Jesuit mission was there estab- 
lished. On one occasion Father Dreuilettes visited the 
Apostle Eliot at Roxbury. The noble and benevolent 
work in which they were engaged, served in the minds of 
these good men to soften the asperities existing between 
the Catholic and the Puritan, and they bid each other 
God speed. 

At this time there were sixty or seventy devoted mis- 1646. 
sionaries among the tribes extending from Lake Superior 
to Nova Scotia. But they did not elevate the character 
of the Indian; he never learned to till the soil, nor to 
dwell in a fixed abode; he was still a rover in the wild, 
free forest, living by the chase. The Abenakis, like the 
Hurons, were willing to receive religious instructions; 
they learned to chant matins and vespers, they loved 
those who taught them. It is not for us to say how many 
of them received into their hearts a new faith. 

The continued incursions of the ferocious Mohawks 
kept these missions in peril. Suddenly one morning they 
attacked the mission of St. Joseph on Lake Simcoe, 
founded, as we have seen, by Brebeuf and Daniel. The 
time chosen was when the warriors were on a hunting ex- 
cursion, and the helpless old men, women, and children 
fell victims to savage treachery. The aged priest Daniel, 1648. 
at the first war-cry, hastened to give absolution to all the 
converts he could reach, and then calmly advanced from 


chap, the chapel in the face of the murderers. He fell pierced 

1648. with many arrows. These marauding expeditions broke 
up nearly all the missions in Upper Canada. The Hu- 
rons were scattered, and their country became a hunting- 
ground for their inveterate enemies. 

Many of the Huron converts were taken prisoners and 
adopted into the tribes of the Five Nations. Some years 

1661. after, when a treaty was made between those nations and 
the French, the presence of these converts excited hopes 
that they would receive Jesuit teachers. A mission was 
established among the Onondagas, and Oswego, their 
principal village, was chosen for the station. In a year or 
two missionaries were laboring among the other tribes of 
the confederacy. But the French, who had an eye to se- 
curing that fertile region, sent fifty colonists, who began 
a settlement at the mouth of the Oswego. The jealousy 
of the Indians was excited; they compelled the colonists 
to leave their country, and with them drove away the 
missionaries. Thus ended the attempts of the French to 
possess the soil of New York. 

The zeal of the Jesuits was not diminished by these 
untoward misfortunes; they still continued to prosecute 
their labors among the tribes who would receive them. 
Away beyond Lake Superior one of their number lost his 
way in the woods and perished, and the wild Sioux kept 
his cassock as an amulet. Into that same region the un- 
daunted Father Allouez penetrated; there, at the largest 
town of the Chippewas, he found a council of the chiefs 
of many different tribes. They were debating whether 
they should take up arms against the powerful and war- 
like Sioux. He exhorted them to peace, and urged them 

1666. to join in alliance with the French against the Iroquois; 
he also promised them trade, and the protection of the 
great king of the French. Then he heard for the first 
time of the land of the Illinois, where there were no trees, 
but vast plains covered with long grass, on which grazed 


innumerable herds of buffalo and deer. He heard of the chap. 

wild rice, and of the fertile lands which produced an — 

abundance of maize, and of regions were copper was ob- 1669 * 
tained, — the mines so famous in our own day. He 
learned, too, of the great river yet farther west, which 
flowed toward the south, whither, his informants could 
not tell. After a sojourn of two years Allouez returned to 
Quebec, to implore aid in establishing missions in that 
hopeful field. He stayed only to make known his request ; 
in two days, he was on his way back to his field of labor, 
accompanied by only one companion. 

The next year came from France another company of 
priests, among whom was James Marquette, who re- 
paired immediately to the missions on the distant lakes. 
Accompanied by a priest named Joliet, and five French 
boatmen, with some Indians as guides and interpreters, 
Marquette set out to find the great river, of which he had 
heard so much. The company passed up the Fox river 
in two birch-bark canoes; they carried them across the 
portage to the banks of the Wisconsin, down which they 
floated, till at length their eyes were gratified by the sight 
of the "Father of Waters." i 670 . 

They coast along its shores, lined with primeval for- 
ests, swarming with all kinds of game ; the prairies redo- 
lent with wild flowers; — all around them is a waste of 
grandeur and of beauty. After floating one hundred and 
eighty miles they meet with signs of human beings. They 
land, and find, a few miles distant, an Indian village; here 
they are welcomed by a people who speak the language 
of their guides. They are told that the great river ex- 
tends to the far south, where the heat is deadly, and that 
the great monsters of the river destroy both men and 

Nothing daunted they pass on, and ere long they reach 
the place where the turbid and rapid Missouri plunges into 
the tranquil and clear Mississippi. "When I return," 


chap, says Marquette, "I will ascend that river and pass be- 

'- yond its head- waters and proclaim the gospel.' ' Further 

167rx# on they see a stream flowing from the north-east ; — it is 
the Ohio, of which the Iroquois have told them. We can 
imagine Marquette, noticing the fertility of the soil, look- 
ing with awe upon the dark and impenetrable forests, 
and hoping that in future ages these shores would be the 
homes of many millions of civilized and Christian men. 

As they went on they approached a warmer climate; 
and now they were sure that the great river flowed into 
the Gulf of Mexico, and not into that of California, as 
had been supposed. They met with Indians who showed 
them tools of European manufacture; obtained either 
from the English of Virginia or from the Spanish fur- 
ther south. It was deemed prudent to return, as they 
might fall into the hands of the latter, and thus be de- 
prived of the privilege of making known their discovery. 
At the mouth of the Arkansas they began the toilsome 
labor of paddling their canoes up the stream down which 
they had so easily floated. They reached the mouth of 
the Illinois; thinking it would lead them to the lakes, 
they passed up that river to its head-waters, and thence 
across to Lake Michigan. 

Joliet immediately set out to carry the news of the 
discovery to Quebec. Marquette was desirous to begin 
his work, and he chose to remain in the humble station of 
a missionary in the wilderness. One day he retired to his 
private devotions, at a simple altar he had erected in a 
grove. An hour afterward he was found kneeling beside 
it; his prayers and his labors for the good of the poor In- 
dian were ended; — in that hour of quiet retirement his 
spirit had passed away. 

Among the adventurers who came to Canada to seek 
their fortunes, was Robert Cavalier de la Salle, a young 
man who had been educated as a Jesuit, but had re- 
nounced the order. A large domain at the outlet of Lake 


Ontario was granted him on condition that he would chap. 

, XIX 

maintain Fort Frontenac, now Kingston. But his main ~ 

object was to obtain the entire trade of the Iroquois. The 1675, 
news of the discovery of the great river inflamed his ar- 
dent mind with a desire to make settlements on its banks, 
and thus secure its vast valley for his king. Leaving his 
lands and his herds, he sailed for France, and there ob- 
tained a favorable grant of privileges. He returned, 1677. 
passed up to Lake Erie, at the foot of which he built a 
vessel of sixty tons, in which, with a company of sailors, 
hunters, and priests, he passed through the straits to the 
upper lakes, and anchored in Green Bay. There, lading 
his ship with a cargo of precious furs, he sent her to Niag- 1679. 
ara, with orders to return as soon as possible with sup- g * 
plies. Meanwhile he passed over into the valley of the 
Illinois, and on a bluff by the river side, near where 
Peoria now stands, built a fort, and waited for his ship; 
but he waited in vain ; she was wrecked on the voyage. 

After three years of toils, wanderings in the wilderness, 
and voyages to France, during which he experienced dis- 
appointments that would have broken the spirit of an 
ordinary man, we find him once more on the banks of the 
Illinois. Now he built a barge, on board of which, with his 1682. 
companions, he floated down to the Mississippi, and thence A P nl 
to the Gulf. Thus were his hopes, after so much toil and 
sacrifice, realized. He had triumphantly traced the 
mighty stream to its mouth. He remained only to take 
possession of the country in the name of his sovereign, 
Louis XIV., in honor of whom he named it Louisiana. 

La Salle returned to Quebec, and immediately sailed 
for France. He desired to carry into effect his great de- 
sign of planting a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi. 
The enterprise was looked upon with favor by both the 
French people and the king. He was furnished with an 
armed frigate and three other vessels, and two hundred 1684. 
and eighty persons to form a colony. One hundred of 




chap, these were soldiers; of the remainder, some were volun- 
teers, some mechanics, and some priests. Unfortunately, 
the command of the ships was given to Beaujeu, a man 
as ignorant as he was self-willed and conceited. After 
surmounting many difficulties, they entered the Gulf of 
Mexico, but missed the mouth of the Mississippi. La 

1685. Salle soon discovered the error, but the stubborn Beau- 

Feb - jeu, deaf to reason, sailed on directly west, till fortunately 
arrested by the eastern shore of Texas. La Salle deter- 
mined to disembark and seek by land the mouth of the 
great river. The careless pilot ran on the store-ship on 
the breakers ; suddenly a storm arose, and very little was 
saved of the abundance which Louis had provided for the 
enterprise. It is said that he gave more to aid this one 
colony than the English sovereigns combined gave to all 
theirs in North America. 

As the ships were about to leave them on that deso- 
late shore, many became discouraged, and returned home. 
The waters in the vicinity abounded in fish, and the for- 
ests in game, and with a mild climate and productive soil, 
there was no danger from starvation. A fort was built in 
a suitable place ; the trees of a grove three miles distant 
furnished the material, which they dragged across the 
prairie. La Salle explored the surrounding country, but 
sought in vain for the Mississippi. On his return to the 
fort, he was grieved to find his colony reduced to forty 
persons, and they disheartened and mutinous. He did 
not despair; he would yet accomplish the darling object 
of his ambition; he would thread his way through the 
wilderness to Canada, and induce colonists to join him. 

1687. With a company of sixteen men he commenced the jour- 
ney; they travelled two months across the prairies west 
of the Mississippi; but the hopes that had cheered his 
heart amidst hardships and disappointments were never 
to be realized. Two of his men, watching their opportu- 
nity, murdered him. Thus perished Robert Cavalier de 



la Salle, assassinated in the wilderness by his own coun- chap. 


trymen. He was the first to fully appreciate the impor- — 

tance of securing to France the two great valleys of this 1687< * 
continent. His name will ever be associated with his un- 
successful enterprise, and his tragical fate will ever excite 
a feeling of sympathy. Retribution was not long delayed ; 
his murderers, grasping at spoils, became involved in a 
quarrel with their companions, and both perished by the 
hand of violence. 

The remainder of the company came upon a tributary 
of the Mississippi, down which they passed to its mouth, 
where their eyes were greeted by a cross, and the arms of 
France engraved upon a tree. This had been done by 
Tonti, a friend of La Salle, who had descended from the 
Illinois, but in despair of seeing him had returned. The 
colony of Texas perished without leaving a memento of 
its existence. 




Mohawks hostile to the French. — Dover attacked; Major Waldron. 
— Schenectady captured and burned. — The inhuman Fronte- 
nac. — The Colonists act for themselves. — Invasion of Canada. — 
Settlements in Maine abandoned. — Heroism of Hannah Dustin. 
— Deerfield taken; Eunice Williams. — D'Ibberville plants a 
Colony on the Pascagoula. — Trading Posts on the Illinois and 
the Mississippi. — The Choctaws; the Natchez; attempts to 
subdue the Chickasaws. — King George's War. — Capture of 
Louisburg. — The English Ministry alarmed. — Jonathan Ed- 
wards. — The "Great Revival." — Princeton College. 

c !x P * P EACE na d continued for some time between the Five Na- 
tions and the French, but now the former were suspicious 
of the expeditions of La Salle. James II. had instructed 
Dongan, the Catholic governor of New York, to conciliate 
the French, to influence the Mohawks to receive Jesuit 
missionaries, and to quietly introduce the Catholic relig- 
ion into the colony. But Dongan felt more interest in 
the fur trade, which the French seemed to be monopoliz- 
ing, than in Jesuit missions among the Mohawks, and he 
rather encouraged the latter in their hostility. An act of 
treachery increased this feeling. Some of their chiefs, 
who were enticed to enter Fort Frontenac, were seized 
and forcibly carried to France, and there made slaves. 

When the indignant people of England drove the 
bigoted James from his throne and invited William of 

168*. Orange to fill it, Louis XIV. took up the quarrel in behalf 
of James, or of legitimacy, as he termed it. He believed 



in the divine right of kings to rule, and denied the right chap. 

of a people to change their form of government. Louis — 

had for years greatly abused his power, and all Europe 1688 ' 
had suffered from his rapacity. Religious feeling exerted 
its influence in giving character to the war, and Protest- 
ant Holland joined heart and hand with Protestant Eng- 
land in opposing Catholic France. 

Though the colonies were thus involved in war by the 
mother countries, they had different ends in view. The 
New Englanders had an eye to the fisheries and the pro- 
tection of their northern frontiers ; the French wished to 
extend their influence over the valleys of the St. Lawrence 
and the Mississippi, and to monopolize the fisheries as 
well as the fur- trade. The latter object could be obtained 
only by the aid of the Indians, and they were untiring in 
their efforts to make them friends. They could never 
conciliate the Mohawks, nor induce them to join in an in- 
vasion of New York. On the contrary, fifteen hundred of 
them suddenly appeared before Montreal, and in a few 
days captured that place, and committed horrible out- 
rages upon the people. 

Thus stood matters when Frontenac, for the second it>8a 
time, appeared as governor of New France. To make the 
savages respect him as a warrior, he set on foot a series of 
incursions against the English colonies. The eastern In- 
dians were incited to attack Dover in New Hampshire ; — 
incited by the French, and also by a cherished desire for 
revenge. There, at the head of the garrison, was that 
Major Waldron who, thirteen years before, during King 
Philip's war, had treacherously seized two hundred of 
their friends, who came to him to treat of peace. He had 
proposed to these unsuspecting Indians a mock fight by 
way of entertainment; when their guns were all dis- 
charged he made them prisoners and sent them to Boston. 
Some of them were hanged, and others sold into slavery. 
The Indians in their turn employed stratagem and treach- 




chap. ery. Two squaws eame to Dover; they asked of the aged 
Waldron, now fourscore, a night's lodging. In the night 
they arose, unbarred the gates, and let in their friends, 
who lay in ambush. Their hour for vengeance had come ; 
they made the pangs of death as bitter as possible to 
the brave old Waldron ; his white hairs claimed from them 
no pity. In derision, they placed him in a chair on a 
table, and scored his body with gashes equal in number to 
their friends he had betrayed; they jeeringly asked him, 
"Who will judge Indians now? Who will hang our 
brothers? Will the pale-faced Waldron give us life for 
life?" A They burned all the houses, murdered nearly half 
the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity. 
This was only the beginning of a series of horrors 
inflicted upon the frontier towns. The inhabitants of 
Schenectady, as they slept in fancied security, were star- 
tled at midnight by the terrible war-whoop of the savage, 
— the harbinger of untold horrors. The enemy found easy 
1690. access, as the gates of the palisades were open. The houses 
Feb. were ge £ on g re ^ more than sixty persons were killed, 

and many helpless women and children were carried into 
captivity. A few escaped and fled half clad through the 
snow to Albany. This attack was made by a party of 
French and Indians from Montreal, who had toiled for 
twenty-two days through the snows of winter, breaking 
the track with snow-shoes, and using, when they could, 
the frozen streams as a pathway. At Salmon Falls, on the 
Piscataqua, and at Casco, similar scenes were enacted. 

Such were the means the inhuman Frontenac, now 
almost fourscore, took to inspire terror in the minds of the 
English colonists, and to acquire the name of a great war- 
rior among the Indians, — they would follow none but a 
successful leader. Among the early Jesuit missionaries 
who taught the Indians of New France, there were un- 

1 New England History, C. W. Elliott. 


doubtedly many good men. The priests of that genera- chap. 
tion had passed away, and others had taken their places; 

these incited the recently converted savage, not to prac- 169 °* 
tise Christian charity and love, but to pillage and murder 
the heretical English colonist. 

King William was busy in maintaining his own cause 
in England, and left the colonists to defend themselves. 
Massachusetts proposed that they should combine, and 
remove the cause of their trouble by conquering Canada. 
Commissioners from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
New York met to deliberate on what course to pursue. 
They resolved to invade that province from New York, 
by way of Lake Champlain, and from Massachusetts by 
way of the St. Lawrence. The expedition from New York 
failed. Colonel Peter Schuyler led the advance with a 
company of Mohawks, but the ever-watchful Frontenac 
was prepared; his Indian allies flocked in crowds to aid 
him in defending Montreal. The Mohawks were repulsed 
and could not recover their position, as the army sent to 
support them was compelled to stop short ; the small-pox 
broke out among the soldiers, and they were in want of 

Meantime, the fleet of thirty-two vessels, and two 
thousand men, which had sailed from Boston, was en- 
deavoring to find its way up the St. Lawrence. It was 
under the command of Sir William Phipps, to whose in- 
competency may be attributed the failure of the enter- 
prise. An Indian runner cut across the woods from 
Piscataqua, and in twelve days brought the news of the 
intended attack to the French. Frontenac hastened to 
Quebec, where he arrived three days before the fleet. 
When it came in sight he was prepared to make a vigorous 
defence. A party landed, but after some skirmishing the 
enterprise was abandoned. While returning, the men 
suffered much from sickness, and storms disabled the 
fleet. The disappointment of the people of Massachusetts 


chap, was very great; many lives had been lost, and the colony 

. — was laden with debt. 

1690. The Eastern Indians, in the mean time, were held in 
check by Captain Church, celebrated in King Philip's 
war. At one time, he so far forgot himself as to put to 
death his prisoners, some of whom were women and chil- 
dren. Such cruelty was inexcusable ; and it was avenged 
by the savages with tenfold fury. Nearly all the settle- 
ments of what is now Maine were destroyed or abandoned. 
The enemy were continually prowling around the farms, 
watching an opportunity to shoot the men at their work. 
All went armed, and even the women learned to handle 
effectively the musket and the rifle. It was a great in- 
ducement for the Indians to go on these marauding expe- 
ditions, because they could sell for slaves to the French 
of Canada the women and children they took prisoners. 
Peace was at length made with the Abenakis, or East- 
ern Indians, and there was a lull in the storm of desola- 
tion. It lasted but a year, the Indians broke the treaty, 
They were incited to this by their teachers, two Jesuits, 
Thury and Bigot, who even took pride in their atrocious 

1694. Heroic deeds were performed by men and women. A 
small band of Indians attacked the house of a farmer 
named Dustin, near Haverhill. When in the fields he 
heard the war-whoop and the cry of distress. He has- 
tened to the rescue, met his children, and threw himself 
between them and their pursuers, whom he held at bay 
by well-directed shots till the children were in a place of 
safety. His house was burned; a child only a few days 
old was dashed against a tree, and his wife, Hannah Dus- 
tin, and her nurse, were carried away captive. A toil- 
some march brought them to an island in the Merrimae, 
just above Concord, where their captors lived. There 
Mrs. Dustin, with the nurse and a boy, also a captive, 
planned an escape. She wished revenge, as well as to be 


secure from pursuit. The Indians, twelve in number, chap. 

were asleep. She arose, assigned to each of her compan- ~ 

ions whom to strike; their hands were steady and their 1694, 
hearts firm; they struck for their lives. Ten Indians 
were killed, one woman was wounded, and a child was 
purposely saved. The heroic woman wished to preserve 
a trophy of the deed, and she scalped the dead. Then in 
a canoe the three floated down the Merrimac to Haver- 
hill, much to the astonishment of their friends, who had 
given them up for lost. Such were the toils and sufferings 
and such the heroism of the mothers in those days. 

The friendly Mohawks had intimated to the inhabi- 
tants of Deerfield, in the valley of the Connecticut, that 
the enemy was plotting their destruction. The anxiety 
of the people was very great, and they resolved during the 
winter to keep a strict watch; sentinels were placed every 

On an intensely cold night in February a company of 1704 
two hundred Frenchmen, and one hundred and forty In- 
dians, lay in ambush, waiting a favorable moment to 
spring upon their victims. Under the command of Hertel 
de Rouville, they had come all the way from Canada, on 
the crust of a deep snow, with the aid of snow-shoes. The 
sentinels, unconscious of danger, retired at dawn of day. 
The snow had drifted as high as the palisades, thus ena- 
bling the party to pass within the inclosure, which con- 
sisted of twenty acres. The terrible war-cry startled the 
inhabitants, the houses were 3et on fire, and forty-seven 
persons were ruthlessly murdered; one hundred and 
twelve were taken captive, among whom were the min- 
ister Williams, his wife, and five children. No pen can 
describe the sufferings of the captives on that dreary win- 
ter's march, driven, as they were, by relentless French- 
men and savages. Eunice Williams, the wife, drew con- 
solation from her Bible, which she was permitted to read 
when the party stopped for the night. Her strength soon 


chap, failed; her husband cheered her by pointing her to the 

— "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 

1704. a rpj^ mo th er > s heart rose to her lips, as she commended 
her five captive children, under God, to their father's care, 
and then one blow of the tomahawk ended her sorrows." 
This family, with the exception of one daughter, seven 
years old, were afterward ransomed, and returned home. 
Many years after this, there appeared at Deerfield a 
white woman wearing the Indian garb ; she was the lost 
daughter of Eunice Williams, and now a Catholic, and 
the wife of an Indian chief. No entreaties could influence 
her to remain with her civilized relatives ; she chose to re- 
turn and end her days with her own children. 

Humanity shudders at the recital of the horrors that 
marked those days of savage warfare. Some of the In- 
dians even refused to engage any more in thus murdering 
the English colonists; but the infamous Hertel, with the 
approbation of Vaudreuil, then governor of Canada, in- 
duced a party to accompany him on a foray. Why re- 
peat the story of the fiendish work, by which the little 
village of Haverhill, containing about thirty log-cabins, 
was burned, and all the inhabitants either murdered or 
1708. taken captive. "My heart swells with indignation," 
wrote Colonel Peter Schuyler of New York, to Vaudreuil, 
" when I think that a war between Christians princes, is 
degenerating into a savage and a boundless butchery; 
I hold it my duty toward God and my neighbor, to pre- 
vent, if possible, these barbarous and heathen cruelties." 
This reproof was unheeded; the cruelties continued. 

Under the feelings excited by such outrages, can we 
think it strange that the colonists resolved to hunt the 
Indians like wild beasts, and offered a bounty for their 
scalps? or that the hostility against the French Jesuit 
should have thrown suspicion upon the Catholic of Mary- 
land, who about this time was disfranchised? or that even 


in liberal Rhode Island, he should have been deprived chap. 


of the privilege of becoming a freeman? 

With renewed energy the French began to press for- 1708 - 
ward their great design of uniting, by means of trading 
posts and missions, the region of the Lakes and the valley 
of the Mississippi. The Spaniards had possession of the 
territory on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, 
while they claimed the entire regions lying around that 
expanse of water. 

The energetic mind of Lemoine dTbberville conceived 
a plan for planting a colony at the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi. He was a native of Canada, and had, on many 
occasions, distinguished himself by his talents and great 
courage. Hopes were entertained of his success. The 
expedition, consisting of four vessels and nearly two hun- 
dred colonists, among whom were some women and chil- 
dren, sailed from Canada for the mouth of the Mississippi. 1699. 
D'Ibberville entered the Gulf and approached the north 
shore, landed at the mouth of the river Pascagoula, and 
with two barges and forty-eight men went to seek the 
great river. He found it by following up a current of 
muddy waters, in which were many floating trees. He 
passed up the stream to the mouth of Red River, where 
he was surprised to receive a letter dated fourteen years 
before. It was from Tonti; he had left it with the In- 
dians for La Salle; they had preserved it carefully, and 
gave it to the first Frenchman who visited them. 

As the shores of the Mississippi in that region are 
marshy, it was thought best to form a settlement on the 
Gulf at the mouth of the Pascagoula. This was the first 
colony planted within the limits of the present State of 
Mississippi. D'Ibberville sailed for France to obtain sup- 
plies and more colonists, leaving one of his brothers, Sau- 
ville, to act as governor, and the other, Bienville, to 
engage in exploring the country and river. 

Some fifty miles up the Mississippi Bienville met an 


chap. English ship sent on the same errand. Seventy years 

— before, Charles I. had given to Sir Robert Heath a grant 

1630. £ Q aro ii naj which as usual was to extend to the Pacific. 
This worthless grant Coxe, a London physician, had pur- 
chased, and to him belonged this vessel. 

From the time of La Salle the Jesuits had been busy 
ingratiating themselves with the tribes along the shores 
of the Mississippi, and under their direction trading posts 
were established, at various points, to the mouth of the 
Illinois, and up that river to the Lakes. 
1700. The following year DTbberville returned with two 
ships and sixty colonists, and the aged Tonti had just ar- 
rived from the Illinois. Availing himself of his counsel, 
DTbberville ascended the river four hundred miles, and 
on a bluff built a fort, which, in honor of the Duchess of 
Pontchartrain, was called Rosalie. These settlements 
languished for twenty years ; the colonists were mere hire- 
lings, unfitted for their work. The whole number of 
emigrants for ten years did not exceed two hundred per- 
sons. Instead of cultivating the soil, and making their 
homes comfortable, many went to the far west seeking for 
gold, and others to the north-west on the same errand, 
while fevers and other diseases were doing the work of 
death. Meantime Mobile became the centre of French 
influence in the south. 

Once more a special effort was made to occupy the 
territory, and a monopoly of trade was granted to Arthur 
1714. c r ozart, who was to send every year two ships laden with 
merchandise and emigrants, and also a cargo of slaves 
from Africa. The French government was to appropriate 
annually about ten thousand dollars to defray the ex- 
pense of forts and necessary protection. 

A trading house was established up the Red River at 
Natchitoches, and one up the Alabama near the site of 
Montgomery; Fort Rosalie became a centre of trade, and 


the germ of the present city of Natchez — the oldest town chap. 
on the Mississippi. '— 

Bienville put the convicts to work on a eane-brake to 
remove the trees and shrubs " from a savage and desert 
place," and built a few huts. Such were the feeble begin- 
nings of New Orleans, which it was prophesied would 
yet become " a rich city, the metropolis of a great colony." 
Still the colony did not prosper; instead of obtaining 
their supplies from that fruitful region, they were depend- 
ent on France and St. Domingo. Labor was irksome to 
the convicts and vagabonds, and the overflowings of the 
river, and the unhealthiness of the climate retarded prog- 
ress. The chief hope for labor was based on the impor- 
tation of negroes from Africa. 

Some German settlers, who, a few years before, had 
been induced by one Law, a great stock-jobbing and land 
speculator, to emigrate to the banks of the Arkansas, de- 
cided to remove. A tract of land, lying twenty miles 
above New Orleans, known now as the " German coast," 
was given them. Their settlement was in contrast with 1722. 
the others. They were industrious, and cultivated their 
farms, raised vegetables, rice, and other provisions ; also 
tobacco and indigo. The fig and the orange were now 
introduced. The Illinois region had been settled by emi- 
grants from Canada, who raised wheat and sent flour to 
the colonists below. The priests meanwhile were not idle 
in teaching the Indians, and a convent was founded at 
New Orleans for the education of girls. As the colonists 
had not energy enough to protect themselves, a thousand 
soldiers were sent from France for that purpose. 1724. 

The Choctaws, the allies of the French, occupied the 
region between the lower Mississippi and the Alabama. 
The principal village of the Natchez tribe was on the 
bluff where now stands the city of that name. They 
were not a numerous people, unlike the tribes among 
whom they dwelt, in their language as well as in their 


chap, religion. Like the Peruvians, they were worshippers of 

— the sun, and in their great wigwam they kept an undying 

1724. £ re Their principal chief professed to be a descendant 
of the sun. They became justly alarmed at the encroach- 
ments of the French, who having Fort Rosalie, demanded 
the soil on which stood their principal village, for a farm. 
They suddenly fell upon the white intruders and killed 
two hundred of their number, and took captive their 
women and children. The negro slaves joined the Indi- 
ans. Their principal chief, the Great Sun, had the heads 
of the French officers slain in the battle arranged around 
1730. him, that he might smoke his pipe in triumph; — his tri- 
umph was short. A company, consisting of French and 
Choctaws, under Le Suer, came up from New Orleans, and 
surprised them while they were yet celebrating their vic- 
tory. The Great Sun and four hundred of his people were 
taken captive and sent to St. Domingo as slaves. Some 
of the Natchez escaped and fled to the Chickasaws, and 
some fled beyond the Mississippi; their land passed into 
the hand of strangers, and soon, they as a people were 

The territory of the brave Chickasaws, almost sur- 
rounding that of Natchez, extended north to the Ohio, 
and east to the land of the Cherokees. They were the 
enemies of the French, whose boats, trading from Canada 
and Illinois to New Orleans, they were accustomed to 
plunder. English traders from Carolina were careful to 
increase this enmity toward their rivals. 
1735. Two expeditions were set on foot to chastise these bold 
marauders. Bienville came up from the south with a 
fleet of boats and canoes, and a force of twelve hundred 
Choctaws: he paddled up the Tombecbee as far as he 
could, and then hastened across tbu country to surprise 
one of their fortified places. D'Artaguette hastened 
down from the Illinois country, of which he was governor, 
with fifty Frenchmen and a thousand Indians, to attack 



another of their strongholds. The Chickasaws were too chap. 
vigilant to be thus surprised. They repulsed Bienville, dis- 
persed the forces of D'Artaguette, took him prisoner, and 
burned him at the stake. Once more an attempt was made May 
with all the force the French could bring to crush this 20 * 
warlike tribe, but in vain; the patriotic Chickasaws suc- 
cessfully defended their country against the foreign foe. 1740. 

These reverses did not deter the persevering French 
from establishing trading houses south of Lake Erie, and 
down the Alleghany to the Ohio, and thence to the Mis- 
sissippi. The people of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and 
Virginia became alarmed at these encroachments on 
their territory. The Iroquois professed to have con- 
quered all the valley of the Ohio, and they claimed a vast 
region to the north-west as their hunting grounds. Com- 
missioners from the above colonies met the envoys of the 1745. 
Iroquois at Lancaster, and purchased from them for £400 Jul y* 
all their claim to the regions which they professed to own 
between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany mountains. 

The colonies had enjoyed nearly thirty years of com- 1744. 
parative freedom from French and Indian incursions, 
when they were involved in what is known as King 
George's War. 

The first intimation of hostilities was an attack upon 
the fort at Canso, in which the garrison was captured and 
carried to Louisburg. Louisburg was the great strong- 
hold of the French on this continent; the centre from 
which privateering expeditions were fitted out, that had 
nearly destroyed the commerce as well as the fisheries of 
New England. To prevent these depredations, and the 
inroads to which the French incited their Indian allies, 
Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, proposed to the Gen- 
eral Court to take Louisburg. No aid was expected from 
the mother country — she was too much engaged at home; 
but the other colonies were invited to enlist in the com- 
mon cause. New Jersey and Pennsylvania agreed to 



°5xf' furnish money, but declined to send men; New York 
furnished money and some cannon; Connecticut offered 
five hundred men; Rhode Island and New Hampshire 
each furnished a regiment. Massachusetts proposed the 
expedition, was the most interested in its success, bore 
the greater part of the expense, and furnished the greater 
portion of the men and vessels. The fishermen, especially 
those of Marblehead, entered upon the enterprise with 
alacrity. Their fisheries had been almost ruined and they 
thrown out of employment, by the continued forays from 
Louisburg. Farmers, mechanics, and lumbermen volun- 
teered in great numbers. Here were citizen soldiers, 
without a single man whose knowledge of military tactics 
went beyond bush-fighting with the Indians, and all 
equally ignorant of the proper means to be used in reduc- 
ing a fortified place. A wealthy merchant, William Pep- 
perell, of Maine, was elected commander. The artillery 
was under the direction of Gridley, the same who, thirty 
years afterward, held a similar position in an American 
army under very different circumstances. The enthusi- 
asm was great, and what was lacking in means and skill, 
was supplied by zeal. A strong Protestant sentiment was 
mingled with the enterprise, and Whitefield, then on his 
third tour of preaching in the colonies, was urged to fur- 
nish a motto for the banner. He promptly suggested, 
" Nil desperandum, Christo duce" — "Nothing is to be de- 
spaired of when Christ is leader." He also preached to 
them an inspiriting sermon, and they sailed, like the Cru- 
saders of old, confident of success. 

1745. In April the fleet arrived at Canso, but owing to the 
ice, could not enter the harbor of Louisburg. Intelligence 
of the expedition had been sent to England, and Admiral 
Warren, who commanded on the West India station, was 
invited to join the enterprise. He declined for want of 
explicit orders, but afterward receiving permission, he 
hastened to join them with four men-of-war. 


The whole armament was now put in motion for Lou- chap. 


isburg. That stronghold had walls forty feet thick, thirty '— 

feet high, and surrounded by a ditch eighty feet wide, 1745# 
with protecting forts around it, manned by nearly two 
hundred and fifty cannon, small and great, and garrisoned 
by sixteen hundred men. 

As the fleet approached, the French came down to the 
beach to oppose their landing, but in a moment the 
"whale boats," filled with armed men, were "flying like 
eagles ' ' to the shore. Their opposers, panic-stricken, fled ; 
and the following night the soldiers of the royal battery, 
one of the outside forts, spiked their cannon and re- 
treated to the town. The deserted fort was immediately 
taken possession of, and the gunsmiths went to work to 
bore out the spikes. The next day a detachment marched 
round the town, giving it three cheers as they passed, and 
took up a position that completely enclosed the place on the 
land side, while the fleet did the same toward the ocean. 
They threw up batteries, dragged their cannon over a 
morass, and brought them to bear upon the fortress. 

These amateur soldiers soon became accustomed to 
encamping in the open air, and sleeping in the woods, as 
well as to the cannon-balls sent among them by the be- 
sieged. They not only prevented ships from entering the 
harbor, but found means to decoy into the midst of their 
fleet and capture a man-of-war of sixty-four guns, laden 
with stores for the fort. This loss so much disheartened 
the garrison that, after a siege of seven weeks, Louisburg June 
surrendered. The news of this success sent a thrill of *'• 
joy throughout the colonies. It was the greatest feat 
of the war, and was accomplished by undisciplined volun- 

France resolved, at any cost, to recover her strong- 
hold, and also to desolate the English colonics. The fleet 
sent for the purpose was disabled by storms, while pesti- 
lence wasted the men. The commander, the Duke d'An- 


chap, ville, suddenly died, and his successor, a short time after, 

— committed suicide. The next year the fleet, sent for the 

1746, same purpose, was forced to strike its colors to an En- 
glish squadron under Admirals Anson and Warren. 

Though thus successful, the frontier settlements still 
suffered greatly, and in self-defence the old project was 
revived of conquering Canada. The government of Eng- 
land required all the colonies, as far south as Virginia, to 
furnish men and means. Eight thousand men were 
raised, of which number Massachusetts furnished nearly 
one-half. The British ministry suddenly changed their 
mind, and the enterprise was abandoned. Soon after, the 
treaty of Aix la Chapelle was concluded, by which all 
places taken by either party during the war were to be 
restored. Thus Louisburg, the capture of which was so 
gratifying to the colonists, and so significant of their dar- 
1748. m g spirit, passed again into the hands of the French. 

The ministry did not relish the ardor and independ- 
ence of the colonists, who appeared to have, according to 
Admiral Warren, " the highest notions of the rights and 
liberties of Englishmen; and, indeed, as almost level- 
lers." It was in truth the foreshadowing of their com- 
plete independence of the mother country, and measures 
were taken by her to make them more subservient. They 
were forbidden to have any manufactures, to trade to any 
place out of the British dominions, while no other nation 
than the English were permitted to trade with them. 
"These oppressions," says an intelligent traveller of that 
day, " may make, within thirty or fifty years, the colonies 
entirely independent of England." 

For many years there had been a marked decline in 
religion in New England. A peculiar union of church 
and state had led to a sort of compromise between the 
two, known as the "Half-way covenant," by which per- 
sons who had been baptized, but without pretensions to 


personal piety, were admitted to the full privileges of chap. 
church members. — 

In the midst of this declension a religious " Awaken- 1735, 
ing," better known as the "Great Revival," commenced 
at Northampton, in Massachusetts, under the preaching 
of Jonathan Edwards, a young man remarkable for his 
intellectual endowments. His sermons were doctrinal 
and strongly Calvinistic. His religious character had 
been early developed. At thirteen he entered Yale Col- 
lege; thoughtful beyond his years, a metaphysician by 
nature, at that early age he was enraptured with the pe- 
rusal of Locke on the "Understanding." Secluded from 
the world b}^ the love of study, he penetrated far into the 
mysteries of the workings of the human mind. 

Edwards drew from the Bible the knowledge of the 
true relation between the church and the world. The 
contest was long and strenuous, but the lines were clearly 
drawn, and from that day to this the distinction is 
marked and appreciated. " He repudiated the system of 
the Half-way covenant," and proclaimed the old doc- 
trines of " the sole right of the sanctified to enjoy the privi- 
leges of church members, and of salvation by faith alone." 
As the influence of the state in religious matters thus be- 
gan to fade away, a closer spiritual relation of men to 
men, not as members of a commonwealth alone, but as 
members of a great brotherhood, gained in importance. 

Parties sprang into existence; those who favored a 
more spiritual life in religion were stigmatized as "New 
Lights," while the steady conservatives were known as 
the " Old Lights." So bitter was the feeling that in Con- 
necticut the civil authority was invoked, and severe laws 1742 
were enacted against the New Lights. The controversy 
was so warm that Edwards was driven from his congrega- 
tion — at that time, " the largest Protestant society in the 
world." He went as a missionary to the Housatonic In- 
dians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. There in the forest, 


chap, amid toils and privations, he wrote his far-famed treatise 

— on the "Freedom of the Will," which has exerted so 

1750. muc ] 1 influence in the theological world, while the writer 
was the first American that obtained a European reputa- 
tion as an author. 
1740. During this period Whitefield came, by invitation, to 
New England. He had been preaching in the south with 
unexampled success. At intervals, for more than thirty 
years, he preached the gospel from colony to colony. 
"Hundreds of thousands heard the highest evangelical 
truths uttered with an eloquence probably never 
equalled." The influence of the awakening spread till all 
the colonies were visited by the same blessings, especially 
the Presbyterians of New York, New Jersey, and Penn- 
sylvania, and in a less degree in the more southern colo- 
nies. These influences were not limited to that age, for 
similar revivals have continued to our own times. 

The Baptists, hitherto but few in number, received a 
new impulse, as many of the New Light churches adopted 
their views;* and the preaching of Whitefield prepared 
the way for the success of the Methodists. 

The revival created a want for ministers of the gospel, 
to supply which, the Rev. William Tennent established 
an academy at Neshaminy; an institution where young 
men professing the religious fervor that characterized 
those prominent in the revival, could be prepared for the 
sacred office. This was the germ of Princeton College. 

This religious sentiment met with little sympathy 
from the authorities of the colony, and with difficulty a 
1746. charter was obtained. The institution was named Nassau 
Hall, in honor of the great Protestant hero, William III. 
It was first located at Elizabethtown, then at Newark, 
1757. an d finally at Princeton, Its success was unexampled; 
in ten years the number of students increased from eight 
to ninety. 













I— I 





The Valley of the Ohio. — French and English Claimants. — Gist the 
Pioneer. — George Washington; his Character; his Mission to 
the French on the Alleghany. — Returns to Williamsburg. — St. 
Pierre's Letter unsatisfactory. — Virginians driven from the 
Ohio. — Fort Du Quesne built. — Washington sent to defend the 
Frontiers. — Conflict at Fort Necessity. — The Fort abandoned. — 
British Troops arrive in America. — Plan of operations. — Gen- 
eral Braddock; his qualifications. — The Army marches from 
Wills' Creek. — Obstinacy of Braddock. — Arrival on the Monon- 
gahela. — The Battle. — Defeat. — Death and Burial of Braddock. 
— Dunbar's Panic. — The Frontiers left unprotected. 

Scarcely an English colonist had yet settled in the val- chap. 

. XXI 

ley of the Ohio. The traders who visited the Indians in - 

that region, told marvellous stories of the fertility of the 1749, 
soil, and the desirableness of the climate. It was pro- 
posed to found a colony west of the Alleghany mountains. 
The governor of Virginia received royal instructions to 
grant the "Ohio Company " five hundred thousand acres 
of land lying between the rivers Monongahela and Kana- 
wha, and on the Ohio. The company engaged to send 
one hundred families; to induce them to emigrate the^ 
offered them freedom from quit-rents for ten years. 

Meantime, the French sent three hundred men to ex- 
pel the English traders and take possession of the valley. 
They also sent agents, who passed through the territory 
north of the Ohio river, and at various points nailed on 
the trees plates of lead, on which were inscribed the arms 
of France. This they were careful to do in the presence 



chap, of the Indians, who suspected they intended to take away 

- their lands. When the English came and made surveys 

1749. on f. ne south side of the Ohio, they asked them the puz- 
zling question: "If the French take possession of the 
north side of the Ohio, and the English of the south, 
where is the Indian's land?" 

At Wills' Creek, now Cumberland, Maryland, one of 
the easiest passes over the mountains commenced. Here 
the Ohio Company established a place of deposit to sup- 
ply Indian traders with goods. They also wished to 
explore the Ohio river to the great falls; to ascertain the 
location of the best lands, and whether the Indians were 
friendly or unfriendly. They employed for this danger- 
ous and difficult task the celebrated trader and pioneer 
Christopher Gist, who crossed the mountains and came 
upon the Alleghany river, at a village occupied by a few 
Delaware Indians. Thence he passed down to Logs town, 
a sort of head-quarters for traders, situated some miles 
below the junction of that river and the Monongahela. 
Here dwelt a renowned chief of the western tribes, Tana- 
charison, or half-king, as he was called, because he ac- 
knowledged a sort of allegiance to the Mohawks. "You 
are come to settle the Indian lands," said the resident 
traders, whose suspicions were roused ; " you will never go 
home safe." Gist traversed the region of the Muskingum 
and of the Scioto, then crossed the Ohio, and passed up 
the Cuttawa or Kentucky to its very springs. He gave a 
glowing account of the beauty and fertility of the region 
he had visited. It was covered with trees of immense 
size, the wild cherry, the ash, the black walnut, and the 
sugar maple, the two latter giving indubitable proof of 
the fertility of the soil ; a land abounding in never-failing 
springs and rivulets, forests interspersed with small mead- 
ows, covered with long grass and white clover, on which 
fed herds of elk, deer, and buffalo, while the wild turkey 
and other game promised abundance to the hunter and 


pioneer. Such was the primitive character of the terri- chap. 
tory since known as the State of Ohio. «. 

He ascertained that French emissaries were visiting 1749 ' 
all the western tribes, to induce them to take up arms 
against the English; that the Indians looked upon both 
as intruders, and though willing to trade with both, were 
unwilling that either should occupy their lands. The 
French saw that if the English obtained a foothold on the 
Ohio, they would cut off the communication between the 
Lakes and the Mississippi. The final struggle for the 
supremacy in the valley was near at hand. 

While the English, by invitation of the Indians, were 
approaching from the south, to build a fort at the head of 
the Ohio, the French were approaching the same point 
from the north. The latter had built war vessels at Fron- 
tenac to give them the command of Lake Ontario; they 
had strengthened themselves with treaties with the most 
powerful tribes, the Shav/nees and the Dclawares; they 
had repaired Fort Niagara, at the foot of Lake Erie, and 
at this time had not less than sixty fortified and well gar- 
risoned posts between Montreal and New Orleans. They 
had also built a fort at Presquo Isle, now Erie, one on 
French Creek, on the site of Waterford, and another at 
the junction of that creek with the Alleghany, now the 
village of Franklin. 

Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, resolved to send a 
messenger to remonstrate with the French for intruding 
on English territory. Where could he find a man of en- 
ergy and prudence to trust in this laborious and perilous 
undertaking? His attention was directed to a mere 
youth, in his twenty-second year, a surveyor, who, in the 
duties of his profession, had become somewhat familiar 1732 
with the privations of forest life. That young man was ^- 
George Washington. He was a native of Westmoreland 
county, Virginia. The death of his father left him an 
orphan when el^s'en years of age. The wealthy Virginia 



chap, planters of those days were accustomed to send their sons 
to England to complete their education, and thus had 
Lawrence, his half-brother, fourteen years older than him- 
self, been educated. No such privilege was in store for 
George. His father's death may have interfered with such 
plans : be that as it may, he was sent to the common school 
in the neighborhood, and there taught only the simplest 
branches of an English education — to spell, to read, to 
write, to cipher. When older, he went for some time to 
an academy of a somewhat higher grade, where he de- 
voted his time particularly to the study of mathematics. 

Though his school advantages were so limited, it was 
his inestimable privilege to have a mother endowed with 
good sense, united to decision of character and Christian 
principle, — she inspired love, she enforced obedience. 
From her he inherited an ardent, impulsive temper — 
from her he received his antidote ; she taught him to hold 
it in subjection. 

The early life of George Washington furnishes an ex- 
ample worthy the imitation of the youth of his country. 
We are told of his love of truth, of his generous and noble 
acts, that he won the confidence of his schoolmates, and 
received from them that respect which virtue alone can 

He was systematic and diligent in all his studies. 
There may yet be seen, in the library at Mount Vernon, 
the book in which he drew his first exercise in surveying; 
every diagram made with the utmost care. Thus was 
foreshadowed in the youth what was fully developed in 
the man. At the early age of sixteen, we find him in the 
woods on the frontiers of Virginia, performing his duties 
as a surveyor; making his measurements with so much 
accuracy that to this day they are relied upon. 

We must not suppose that the studious and sedate 
youth, with his rules for governing his " conversation and 
conduct" carefully written out, and as carefully observed, 


was destitute of boyish feelings. He had his youthful chap. 


sports and en joyments; he could exhibit feats of strength 
and skill ; he could ride a horse or throw a stone with any 1749, 
boy, and was so far military in his tastes as occasionally to 
drill his school-fellows during recess. 

His brother Lawrence had spent some time in the Eng- 
lish navy, and George had often heard of the excitements 
of the seaman's life, and had boyish longings for adven- 
tures on the ocean. Circumstances seemed to favor his 
wishes. When fourteen, it was decided that he should 
enter the navy. The man-of-war on which he was to go as 
a midshipman was lying in the Potomac; his baggage was 
ready, but when the parting hour came the mother's heart 
failed. Though deeply disappointed, George yielded to 
her wish, and relinquished his anticipated pleasure. 

Though Washington was born and spent his youth in 
the wilds of Virginia, there were many refining influences 
brought to bear upon the formation of his character. He 
was intimate for years in the Fairfax family, who brought 
with them to their western home the refinement and cul- 
ture of the English aristocracy of that day. Neither 
must we overlook the benign influence exerted over him 
by his educated and benevolent brother Lawrence, who, 
up to the time of his death, watched over his young 
brother with a father's care, as well as a brother's love. 

The influence of Christian principle governing the im- 
pulses of a noble nature, was the secret of the moral 
excellence, the dignified integrity, unaffected candor, and 
sterling worth, which shone forth in the character of 
Washington, — a name so much blended with the liberties 
of his country, and so much cherished and honored by the 
friends of humanity in every clime. 

Governor Dinwiddie gave his youthful messenger a 
letter for the French commandant on the Ohio, in which 
he demanded of him his reasons for invading the territory . 
of England. The veiy day on which Washington re- 



chap, ceived his credentials, (October 30,) he left Williamsburg 
for Winchester, then a frontier town of Virginia. By the 
middle of November his preparations were completed. 
With a company consisting of the intrepid Gist, who 
acted as guide, two interpreters, and four others, he set 
out from Wills' Creek. A journey of nine days, through 
solitudes and mountain passes, and across streams swol- 
len by recent rains, brought them to where the Mononga- 
hela, that river "so deep and still," meets the " swift 
running Alleghany. ' ' Washington explored the neighbor- 
hood, and remarks in his journal : " The land at the Fork 
is extremely well situated for a fort, as it has absolute 
command of both rivers. ' ' Thus thought the French engi- 
neers, who afterward on that very spot built Fort Du 

Shingis, chief sachem of the Dela wares, who afterward 
took up arms against the English, accompanied him to 
Logstown. Here, by his instructions, Washington was 
to confer with the Indian chiefs : he summoned them to a 
grand talk. They would not commit themselves; they 
had heard that the French were coming with a strong 
force to drive the English out of the land. But he in- 
duced three of them to accompany him to the station of 
the French commandant; among them was the Half- 

When he arrived at Venango, or Franklin, the officer 
in command referred him to the Chevalier St. Pierre, 
general officer at the next post. Meanwhile he was 
treated with politeness, and invited by the French officers 
to a supper. The wine passed freely, and the talkative 
Frenchmen began to boast of their plans; they would 
"take possession of the Ohio; the English could raise 
two men to their one, but they were too slow and dila- 
tory." The sober and cautious Washington marked well 
their words. The three chiefs had promised well; they 
would give back the speech belts to the French; they 


were friends to the English. But when plied with drink, chap. 

and hailed by the French as "Indian brothers/' they — 

wavered for a time. 1753, 

Washington obtained an interview with St. Pierre, 
"an ancient and silver-haired chevalier, courteous but 
ceremonious," and after some delay received an answer to 
his despatches, and hastened homeward. As the pack- 
horses were disabled, he left them and the baggage, and 
with Gist for his only companion struck out into the wil- 
derness. The cold was intense, the snow was falling, and 
freezing as it fell. Wrapped in Indian blankets, with 
their guns in their hands and knapsacks on their backs, 
and a compass to guide them, they pushed on toward the 
Alleghany river, which they hoped to cross on the ice. 
Their journey through the pathless wild was marked by 
some mishaps and hairbreadth escapes. Their lives were 
endangered by a false guide, and Washington in endeav- 
oring to force his way through the ice in the river, came 
near perishing; but, on the sixteenth of January, they 1754. 
arrived safely at Williamsburg. 

The answer of St. Pierre was courteous but indefinite. 
He referred the matter to the Marquis Du Quesne, the 
governor of Canada. It was clear, however, that he did 
not intend to retire from the valley of the Ohio. This 
was still more evident from the preparations of boats, ar- 
tillery, and military stores, which Washington noticed up 
the Alleghany, waiting for the spring flood, when they 
would be taken to their place of destination. 

The following spring the Ohio Company sent between 
thirty and forty men to build a fort at the head of the 
Ohio. The French were on the alert; a company of sol- 
diers floated down the Alleghany, who surprised and sur- 
rounded them at their work. They must surrender in an 
hour's time or defend themselves against a thousand men. 
They were glad to leave their unfinished fort and return 



chap, to Virginia. The French took immediate possession, 
finished it, and named it Du Quesne. 

At the early age of nineteen Washington had been 
appointed Adjutant-General of the northern district of 
Virginia, an ofhce which he filled to the entire satisfaction 
of his countrymen. Now he received the commission of 
lieutenant-colonel, with orders to protect the frontiers. 
He was also offered the command of the expedition 
against the French at Fort Du Quesne. This he declined 
on account of his youth; the command was then con- 
ferred upon Colonel Fry, who shortly after fell ill, and it 
virtually passed into the hands of Washington. His lit- 
tle army was ill provided with tents and military stores, 
and poorly clad. They moved on very slowly. It was 
not easy with a train of artillery to pass through the for- 
ests, climb mountains, and ford swollen rivers. Wash- 
ington pushed on with a detachment for the junction of 
the Redstone and Monongahela. There, on the spot now 
known as Brownsville, he hoped to maintain'his position 
until the main force should come up, and then he would 
float down the river in flat-boats to Fort Du Quesne. 

On the ninth of May this detachment arrived at a 
place called the Little Meadows. Here they met traders, 
who informed them that the French were in great force at 
Du Quesne, and that a portion of them had set out on a 
secret expedition. There was but little doubt as to its 
object. Presently came an Indian runner; he had seen 
the tracks of the Frenchmen ; they were near. The Half- 
King with forty warriors was also in the neighborhood. 
On a dark and stormy night, Washington and forty of his 
men groped their way to his camp, which they reached 
about daylight. This faithful ally put a couple of run- 
ners upon the enemy's ,tracks; they reported that the 
French were encamped in a deep glen, where they had put 
up temporary cabins. 

Washington arranged his company in two divisions, 

From stereograph, copyright, 1903, by Underwood & Underwood, \. V. 



and so effectually surprised them that few of their num- chap. 

ber escaped. Among the slain was the youthful De — 

Jumonville, the leader of the party. Here was shed the 17M * 
first blood in that seven years' struggle, in which the 
French power on this continent was broken. As no rein- 
forcements were sent, Washington was greatly disap- 
pointed; he could not maintain the advantage he had 
gained. He heard that a numerous force was on its way 
to attack him. In a letter to his friend Colonel Fairfax 
he writes : " The motives that have led me here are pure 
and noble. I had no view of acquisition, but that of 
honor by serving faithfully my king and country." 

He built a fort at the Great Meadows, which, from 
the fact of a famine pressing upon them, he named Fort 
Necessity. It is a fact worthy of mention, that at this 
encampment public prayer was daily observed, and con- 
ducted by the youthful commander himself. 

Soon five hundred French and many hundred Indians 
appeared on the hills in sight of the fort. He drew out 
his men for battle, but the enemy declined the contest. 
Then he withdrew them within the enclosure, giving them 
directions to fire only when an enemy was in sight. This 
irregular fighting continued throughout the day. The 
rain poured in torrents, and rendered useless many of 
their muskets. At night the French desired a parley; 
suspecting stratagem to introduce a spy, Washington at 
first refused, but at length consented. Much of the night 
was spent in negotiation; finally, the Virginians were 
allowed to leave the fort with the honors of war, and their 
equipments and stores, except artillery. The next morn- 
ing the youthful hero led out his men. The Indians im- July 
mediately began to plunder; Washington, seeing this, 3 * 
ordered every thing to be destroyed that the soldiers 
could not carry. The loss of the Virginia regiment, which 
numbered about three hundred, was nearly fifty ; the loss 
of the enemy was greater. After much toil and suffering, 





from want of provisions, they arrived at Cumberland. 
Thus ended the first military expedition of Washington. 
Although unsuccessful, he displayed so much prudence 
and judgment that the people were impressed by his 
merits, and which the House of Burgesses acknowledged 
by a vote of thanks. 

He was, however, soon after annoyed and mortified by 
the course pursued hy the narrow-minded Dinwiddie, 
who, unwilling to promote the provincial officers, dis- 
solved the Virginia regiments, and formed them into in- 
dependent companies, in which there should be no officer 
of higher rank than that of captain. With a dignity and 
self-respect worthy of his character, Washington with- 
drew from the army. When Governor Sharpe. of Mary- 
land, was appointed commander-in-chief by the king, he 
invited him, through a friend, to join it again under the 
title of colonel, but really with no higher authority than 
that of captain. He declined the offer, writing in reply, 
" If you think me capable of holding a commission that 
has neither rank nor emolument to it, you must maintain 
a very contemptible opinion of my weakness, and believe 
me more empty than the commission itself. ' ' He was still 
further mortified by Dinwiddie's refusal to give up the 
French prisoners, according to the articles of capitulation 
at Fort Necessity. 

While these contests were in progress in the valley of 
the Ohio, the French and English nations were ostensibly 
at peace. Each, desirous of deceiving the other, pro- 
fessed to hope that this little collision would not interrupt 
their harmony; the French still continued to send ships 
to America laden with soldiers ; and the English matured 
plans to drive them away. 

Matters took a more decided form; war was not de- 
clared, but open hostilities commenced, and England, for 
the first time, sent an army to aid the colonists. 


Four expeditions were decided upon : one to capture chap. 

the French posts near the head of the bay of Fundy, and — 

expel the French from Acadie; another against Crown 1754, 
Point, to be led by William Johnson, Indian agent among 
the Mohawks; the third, against Niagara and Frontenac, 
was to be intrusted to Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts; 
the fourth against Fort Du Quesne; the latter the Com- 
mander-in-chief, General Edward Braddock, was to lead 
in person. 

The struggle was about to commence in earnest; 
British troops had arrived, and the colonies responded 
with a good will to the call of the mother country for 
levies of soldiers. 

General Braddock was perfect in the theory and prac- 
tice of mere military training; he had been in the 
"Guards" many years, where he had drilled and drilled, 
but had never seen actual service. With the conceited 
assurance of inexperience, he believed the excellencies 
of the soldier were alone found in the British regular — 
the perfection of military skill in British officers. To 
these qualifications he added a most supercilious con- 
tempt for the provincial soldiers and their officers. 

He was to lead in person the force against Fort Du 
Quesne. Of the difficulties of marching an army over 175& 
mountains, and through an unbroken wilderness, he was 
blindly ignorant. He was unwilling to hear advice, or 
even receive information on the subject; and when Wash- 
ington, whom he had invited to act as one of his aids, 
suggested that " if the march was to be regulated by the 
slow movements of the train, it would be tedious, very 
tedious indeed/' he made no reply, but smiled at the sim- 
plicity of the young man, who knew so little about the 
movements of a regular army. Afterward, Benjamin 
Franklin ventured to direct his attention to the danger of 
Indian ambuscades. To his suggestion Braddock replied : 
' The Indians are no doubt formidable to raw Americans, 


chap, but upon the king's regulars, and disciplined troops, it is, 

- sir, impossible they should make any impression." 

1755. rj^ e arm y assem bled at Wills' Creek, to which place 
Braddock came in his coach, and surrounded by his staff, 
"cursing the road very heartily" — its roughness had 
broken his coach, and ruffled his temper. He refused to 
employ Indians as scouts on the march, or to protect the 
Pennsylvanians, who were making a road for the passage 
of the army; hooted at the suggestion of Washington to 
take as little baggage as possible, and to employ pack- 
horses instead of wagons. The English officers could 
give up neither their cumbrous baggage nor their lux- 
uries, neither could the general dispense with "his 
two good cooks, who could make an excellent ragout out 
of a pair of boots, had they but materials to toss them 
up with." 
June. After a month's delay, the army commenced its 

march. The difficulties of dragging heavily ladennvagons 
and artillery over roads filled with stumps of trees and 
rocks, brought the general partially to his senses, and he 
inquired of Washington what was the best to be done. 
From recent accounts it was known that the garrison at 
Fort Du Quesne was small, and he advised that a division 
of light armed troops should be hurried forward to take 
possession of the place, before reinforcements could arrive 
from Canada. Accordingly, twelve hundred choice men 
were detached from the main body and pushed forward, 
taking with them ten field-pieces, and pack-horses to 
carry their baggage. The main division was left under 
the command of Colonel Dunbar, with orders to move on 
as fast as possible. 

The general persisted in refusing to employ either In- 
dians or backwoodsmen as scouts. There was a cele- 
brated hunter, known all along the frontiers as Captain 
Jack. He was "the terror of the Indians." He had been 
their prisoner, had lived years among them, and was fa- 


miliar with their habits. Afterward he cleared for him- chap. 


self a piece of land, built his cabin, and, happy in his — 

forest life, cultivated his ground and amused himself by 1755, 
hunting and fishing. On his return home on a certain 
evening he found his wife and children murdered, and his 
cabin in ashes. From that hour he devoted his life to 
defend the frontiers, and to avenge himself upon the de- 
stroyers of his worldly happiness. He offered his services 
and those of his band to act as scouts, and seek the Indi- 
ans in their lurking-places. Braddock received him very 
coldly, and declined the offer, saying that he " had experi- 
enced troops upon whom he could rely for all purposes." 
Even the advance division moved very slowly, not 
more than three or four miles a day. Says Washington 
in a letter, "Instead of pushing on with vigor, without 
regarding a little rough road, they halt to level every 
mole-hill and to erect a bridge over every brook." A 
month's slow march through the woods brought the army 
to the east bank of the Monongahela, about fifteen miles 
above Fort Du Quesne. Only the very day before the 
proposed attack on that fort, Washington, who had been 
detained by a fit of sickness, was able to join them. As July 9. 
the hills came down to the water's edge, it was necessary 
to cross the river directly opposite to the camp, and five 
miles below, at another ford, recross to the east side. 
Colonel Gage — he, who, twenty years afterward, com- 
manded a British army in Boston — crossed before day- 
light, and with his detachment moved rapidly to the sec- 
ond ford; then recrossing, took position to protect the 
passage of the main force. Washington ventured once 
more to suggest that the Virginia Rangers, consisting of 
three hundred men, should be thrown in advance. This 
proposition received an angry reply from Braddock, and, 
as if to make the rebuke more conspicuous, the Virginians 
and other provincials were placed as a rear-guard. At 
sunrise the remainder of the army was in motion. Their 



chap, equipments were in the most perfect order; their muskets 
were burnished, and charged with fresh cartridges, and in 
high spirits they moved along, with bayonets fixed, colors 
flying, and drums beating. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon, after recrossing 
the river, as the army was moving along a narrow road, 
not more than twelve feet wide, with scarcely a scout in 
front or on the flanks, the engineer, who was marking the 
way, suddenly cried out " French and Indians." Scarcely 
was the alarm given, before rapid firing was heard in 
front, accompanied by most terrific yells. The enemy 
was in a broad ravine, covered with low shrubs, with 
moderately rising ground in front and on both sides. On 
this elevation among the trees were the French and In- 
dians, invisible to the English, but from their hiding- 
places able to see every movement of the soldiers in the 
ravine, and to take deliberate aim. The regulars were 
thrown into confusion; the sight of their companions 
shot down beside them by an invisible enemy, together 
with the unearthly yells of the savages, sent a thrill of 
horror through their souls. They were ordered to charge 
bayonet up the hill, but no orders could induce them, to 
leave the line. The enemy had been sent to occupy this 
very position, but had arrived too late; now they were 
spreading all along both sides of the ravine. The English 
soldiers lost all control, and fired at random into the 
woods, wherever they saw the smoke of an enemy's gun. 
The advance party fell back upon the second division, and 
threw it into still greater confusion. At this moment 
Colonel Burton came up with a reinforcement, eight hun- 
dred strong, but just as they had formed to face the 
enemy, down upon them rushed the two foremost divi- 
sions pell-mell ; all were crowded together in inextricable 
confusion, and their officers were nearly all slain or 
wounded. Now came Braddock himself. He ordered 
the colors to advance, and the respective regiments to 


separate and form in ranks — but in vain. No orders were chap. 

u a XXL 

In a few minutes after the battle commenced the Vir- 1755, 
ginia Rangers were behind trees, and rapidly picking off 
the Indians ; but unfortunately many of these brave men 
fell victims to the random shots of the regulars. Wash- 
ington entreated Braddock to permit his soldiers to pro- 
tect themselves, as the Virginians had done; but he 
refused, and still persisted in striving to form them into 
platoons, and when any sheltered themselves behind 
trees, he called them cowards and struck them with the 
flat of his sword. Thus, through his obstinacy, these un- 
fortunate men became targets for the enemy. The offi- 
cers exhibited the greatest bravery, and many of them 
fell, as they were the special objects of the sharpshooters. 
Two of the aids, Morris and Orme, were severely wound- 
ed, and their duties devolved upon Washington. His 
exposure was great, as he passed often from one part of 
the field to another; yet he gave his orders with calmness 
and judgment. When sent to bring up the artillery, he 
found the Indians surrounding it, Sir Peter Halket, the 
commander, killed, and the men paralyzed with fear. 
He encouraged them, leaped from his horse, pointed a 
field-piece and discharged it. It was useless; the men 
deserted the guns. For three hours the desperate fight 
lasted. During this time Braddock was in the centre of 
the conflict, trying, in his way, to regain the field. His 
officers had nearly all fallen, and his slain soldiers covered 
the ground; still he would not permit the remainder to 
adopt the Indian mode of fighting. 

Five horses were shot under him, and finally he him- 
self was mortally wounded. As he was falling from his 
horse Captain Stewart, of the Virginia Guards, caught 
him in his arms. As they bore him out of danger, he 
begged to be left to die upon the field of his misfortune. 
All was now abandoned. The fall of the general saved 


oaAP. the army from entire destruction. The sodiers were now 

1 at liberty to save themselves as best they could. " The 

1755, regulars fled like sheep before hounds." The Virginia 
Rangers threw themselves in the rear, and for some time 
held the enemy in check. The wagoners mounted their 
team-horses and fled ; all hurried to the ford, fiercely pur- 
sued by the Indians. The love of plunder restrained the 
pursuers, and after the fugitives had recrossed the river 
they were not molested. 

Washington rode all that night and the next day to 
Dunbar's camp to obtain wagons to transport the 
wounded, and soldiers to guard them. When he had 
obtained these he hastened back to meet the fugitives. 
Braddock was still able to issue orders, and seems to 
have had a faint hope that he might hold out till he 
could receive reinforcements. He was carried by the sol- 
diers, being unable to mount a horse; — at length, the 
fugitives arrived at Fort Necessity. The wounded gen- 
eral appeared to be heart-broken. He scarcely spoke ; as 
if reflecting on his past confidence in his troops, he would 
occasionally ejaculate, "Who would have thought it?" 
Tradition tells of his softened feelings toward those whom 
he had treated harshly; of his gratitude to Captain Stew- 
art for his care and kindness; of his apology to Washing- 
ton for the manner in which he had received his advice. 
On the night of the thirteenth of July he died. The next 
morning, before the break of day, he was buried as sec- 
retly as possible, lest the Indians, who were hovering 
around, should find his grave and violate it. The chap- 
lain was among the wounded, and Washington read the 
funeral service. Near the National road, a mile west of 
Fort Necessity, may be seen a rude pile of stones — the 
work of some friendly hand, — it marks the grave of Brad- 
dock. "His dauntless conduct on the field of battle 
shows him to have been a man of spirit. His melancholy 
end, too, disarms censure of its asperity. Whatever may 

<y £L ^y~S^^(?L^Z^<yT^ 


have been his faults and errors, he, in a manner expiated chap. 

them by the hardest lot that can befall a brave soldier ~ 

ambitious of renown, — an unhonored grave in a strange 1755, 
land, a memory clouded by misfortune, and a name ever 
coupled with defeat." 1 

The frightened Dunbar, though he had under his com- 
mand fifteen hundred effective men, — enough, if properly 
led, to have regained the field, — broke up his camp, de- 
stroyed his stores, and retreated with all speed; only 
when he had arrived safely in Philadelphia did he breathe 
freely. His failure of duty left the frontiers exposed to 
the inroads of the savages. 

Of eighty-six officers, twenty-six had perished, and 
thirty-six were wounded. Among the latter was Captain 
Horatio Gates, who, twenty-five years later, was con- 
spicuous as a major-general in the struggle for independ- 
ence. Of the soldiers, more than seven hundred were 
either killed or wounded. The gallant Virginia Rangers 
had perished in great numbers, for upon them had fallen 
the brunt of the battle. When it became known that 
there were only two hundred and twenty-five French, and 
about six hundred and fifty Indians in the battle, the dis- 
grace was deeply felt, that this handful of men, sent 
merely to hold the English in check, should have defeated 
a well-equipped and disciplined army of nearly twice 
their own number. 

The religious sentiments of the colonists were greatly 
shocked at the profanity, Sabbath-breaking, and almost 
every form of vice and wickedness common in this boast- 
ful army. So certain were the expectations of victory, 
that preparations were made to celebrate it. 

It is proper to notice the effect of these events upon 
the minds of the colonists. With them the name of the 
British regulars had lost its prestige — they were not in- 
vincible. In addition, the haughtiness of the British 

1 Washington Irving. 


chap, officers had inflicted wounds destined never to be healed. 


- The attention of the people was directed especially to 

1755 Washington. In a letter to his brother Augustine he 
says: "By the all-powerful dispensation of Providence, 
I have been protected beyond all human probability or 
expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, two 
horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, though death 
was levelling my companions on every side around me." 
The wonderful manner in which he had been preserved 
in that day of peril, excited universal attention. No 
doubt the Rev. Samuel Davies, one of the most celebrated 
clergymen of the day, expressed the common sentiment, 
when, in a sermon preached soon after Braddock's defeat, 
he referred to him as " that heroic youth, Colonel Wash- 
ington, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto 
preserved in so signal a manner for some important ser- 
vice to his country." Washington was never wounded in 
battle ; he was shielded by the same protecting hand. 



The French Acadiens; their simple Manners, Industry, and good 
Morals. — Expulsion from their Homes, and mournful Exile. — 
Expedition against Crown Point. — Baron Dieskau. — English 
defeated. — Death of Colonel Williams. — Attack on Johnson's 
Camp repulsed. — Death of Dieskau. — Williams College. — Indian 
Ravages on the Frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania. — Kit- 
tanning destroyed. — Lord Loudon Commander-in-chief. — His 
tardiness and arbitrary Measures. — Montcalm acts with En- 
ergy; captures Fort Ontario, then Fort William Henry. — Ex- 
hausted condition of Canada. 

In the mean time other expeditions were undertaken chap. 
against the French. For this purpose Massachusetts XXIL 
alone raised eight thousand soldiers, almost one-fifth part 1755 - 
of her able-bodied men. A portion of Acadie or Nova 
Scotia was still in the hands of the French. It consisted 
of the isthmus on the northern part, which was defended 
by two insignificant forts. For forty years, since the 
peace of Utrecht, the peninsula had been under British 
rule, and now the whole territory was completely sub- 
dued. These forts, with scarcely any resistance, fell into June 
the hands of the English. Sixteen years before the Pil- 16 - 
grims landed at Plymouth this French colony was estab- 
lished on the Peninsula of Acadie. It was the oldest per- 
manent French settlement in North America. For one 
hundred and fifty years the Acadiens had been gradually 
clearing and improving their lands, and enjoying the com- 
forts of rural life. At first their chief sources of wealth 
had been the fisheries and the fur- trade; but these had 



chap, gradually given way to agriculture. Their social inter- 

course was governed by a high tone of morals. Their 

1755. differences, but few in number, were settled by the arbi- 
tration of their old men. Seldom did they go with com- 
plaints to their English rulers. Early marriages were 
encouraged, and when a young man came of age, his 
neighbors built him a house, and aided him for one year, 
and the wife's friends aided her with gifts. Their fields 
were fertile, and industry made them productive. Their 
meadows, which now were covered with flocks of sheep 
and herds of cattle, they had, by means of dikes, re- 
deemed from the great flow of the tide. Their little cot- 
tages dotted the landscape. In their domestic industry 
each family provided for its own wants, and clothed its 
members with cloth and linen made from the wool of 
their flocks, or from the flax of their fields. 

As Catholics, they were happy in the exercise of their 
religion; though they belonged to the diocese of Quebec, 
they were not brought into close relation with the people 
of Canada. They knew but little of what was passing 
beyond the limits of their own neighborhood. Independ- 
ent of the world, they had its comforts, but not its luxu- 
ries. They now numbered about seventeen thousand 
inhabitants, and up to this time their English rulers had 
left them undisturbed in their seclusion. 

A dark cloud was hanging over this scene of rural 
simplicity and comfort. As they were excused from bear- 
ing arms against France by the terms of their surrender, 
the Acadiens were known as "French neutrals;" neither 
had they been required to take the usual oaths of allegi- 
ance; they had promised submission to English au- 
thority, to be neutral in times of war with France, and it 
was understood they were to enjoy their religion. This 
oath was one which, as good Frenchmen and good Catho- 
lics, they could not take; it required them to bear arms 
against their own brethren in Canada, and it might in- 



volve the interests of their religion. "Better," urged chap. 
the priests, "surrender your meadows to the sea and 
your houses to the flames, than at the peril of your souls 
take the oath of allegiance to the British government." 
But it was now to be exacted. "They possess the best 
and largest tract of land in this province," writes Law- 
rence, Lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, to Lord Hali- 
fax; "if they refuse the oaths, it would be much better 
that they were away." This "largest and best tract" 
seems to have been coveted by their English rulers ; they 
undoubtedly were suspicious of the Atddiens as Catholics, 
and it is true some of their more ardent young men be- 
longed, as volunteers, to the garrisons of the recently 
captured forts; but as this simple-minded people had 
neither the will nor the power to aid the enemies of Eng- 
land, we cannot suppose that this suspicion alone induced 
the British to visit upon them a severity so unparalleled. 
The question of allegiance was, however, to be pressed to 
the utmost ; if they refused to take the oath, the titles to 
their lands were to be null and void. The haughty con- 
duct of the British officers sent to enforce these orders 
was to them a harbinger of sorrow. Their property was 
wantonly taken for the public service, and " they not to 
be bargained with for payment;" if they did not bring 
wood at the proper time, " the soldiers might take their 
houses for fuel." Their guns were taken, and their boats 
seized, under the pretence that they intended to carry 
provisions to the French. The English insisted upon 
treating this people, so faithful to their country and their 
religion, as lawless rebels. Wearied by these oppressions, 
their deputies promised allegiance; they declared that 
their conscience would not permit them to rebel against 
their rulers, and they humbly asked that their arms and 
boats might be restored. " The memorial is highly arro- 
gant, insidious, and insulting," said the haughty Law- 
rence; "guns do not belong to you by law, for you are 


chap. Roman Catholics." After consultation with the people, 

XXII . . 

- the deputies offered to swear unconditionally. Then they 

1755. were j-qI^ as ftiey had once refused, now they should not 
be permitted to swear. 

A calamity, as unexpected as it was dreadful, was at 
hand. By proclamation, " the old men, and young men, 
as well as all lads over ten years of age," were called upon 
to assemble, on a certain day, the fifth of September, at 
certain posts in their respective districts, to hear the 
Sept. "wishes of the king." The call was obeyed. At Grand 
Pre alone more than four hundred unsuspecting and un- 
armed men and boys came together. They were gathered 
into the church, its doors were closed, and Winslow, the 
commander, announced to them the decision of the Brit- 
ish government. They were to be banished forever from 
their native province; from the fields they had cultivated, 
from the pleasant homes where they had spent their 
youth. They might not emigrate to lands offered them 
among friends in Canada, lest they should add strength 
to the French. They were to be driven forth as beggars 
among their enemies, a people of a strange language and 
of a different religion. They were retained as prisoners, 
till the ships which were to bear them away were ready. 
As soon as possible, their wives and little children were 
also seized. On the day of embarkation, the young men 
and boys were first ordered on board the ship; as their 
parents and friends were not allowed to go with them, 
they refused, fearing that if thus separated, they might 
never meet again — a thought they could not bear. But 
resistance and entreaties were useless ; driven by the bay- 
onet, they were marched from the church to the ship, 
which was a mile distant; their way was lined with weep- 
ing friends, mothers, and sisters, who prayed for blessings 
on their heads, and they themselves wept and prayed and 
mournfully chanted psalms as they passed along. Then 
in the same manner the fathers were driven on board 


another ship. The wives and children were left behind; chap. 


these were kept for weeks near the sea without proper 

shelter or food, shivering in December's cold, till ships 1755# 
could come to take them away. " The soldiers hate them, 
and if they can but find pretext will kill them." Thus 
wrote an English officer who was engaged in this work of 

In some places the object of the proclamation was 
suspected, and the men and youth did not assemble. In 
the vicinity of Annapolis some fled to the woods, with 
their wives and children, some went to Canada, while 
others threw themselves upon the hospitality of the In- 
dians, from whom they received a hearty welcome. That 
these poor people, who had fled to the woods, might be 
compelled by starvation and exposure to give themselves 
up, orders were issued to lay waste their homes, and the 
whole country was made a desolation, from the village 
and its church, to the peasant's cottage and barn. " For 
successive evenings the cattle assembled round the smoul- 
dering ruins, as if in anxious expectation of the return of 
their masters; while all night long the faithful watch- 
dogs howled over the scene of desolation, and mourned 
alike the hand that had fed, and the house that had shel- 
tered them." ' 

Seven thousand of these poor people were transported 
and cast helpless on the shores of the English colonies, 
from New Hampshire to Georgia. Families were sepa- 
rated never to meet again. From time to time, for many 
years afterward, advertisements in the newspapers of the 
colonies told the tale of sorrow. Now they inquired for a 
lost wife or husband, now brothers and sisters inquired 
for each other; parents for their children, and children for 
their parents. When any in after years attempted to 
return they were driven off. Some of those taken to 

1 Haliburton's History of Nova Scotia. 


chap. Georgia could endure their banishment no longer. They 

obtained boats, and coasted along the shore toward home; 

1755. k u ^ a j as j wnen almost at the end of their perilous voy- 
age, they were ordered away. Some wandered to Louis- 
iana, where lands on the river above New Orleans, still 
known as the Acadien coast, were assigned them. 

This work of wanton cruelty was done by men, who 
unblushingly congratulated the approving king that the 
work of desolation had been so effectively accomplished — 
a work, which, for its treachery and cowardly cruelty, de- 
serves the reprobation of every human breast. " I know 
not that the annals of the human race keep the record of 
sorrows so wantonly inflicted, so bitter and so perennial, 
as fell upon the French inhabitants of Acadie. The hand 
of the English official seemed under a spell with regard ta 
t'hem, and was never uplifted but to curse them." l 

The expedition against Crown Point, on Lake Cham- 
plain, had been intrusted to General William Johnson. 
His troops were drawn precipitately from Massachusetts 
and Connecticut; a regiment from New Hampshire 
joined them at Albany. At the head of boat navigation 
on the Hudson, a fort was built which, in honor of their 
commander, whom they reverenced as " a brave and vir- 
tuous man," the soldiers named Fort Lyman. But when 
Johnson assumed the command he ungenerously changed 
the name to Fort Edward. Leaving a garrison in this 
fort, Johnson moved with about five thousand men to the 
head of Lake George, and there formed a camp, intend- 
ing to descend into Lake Champlain. Hendrick, the cele- 
brated Mohawk chief, with his warriors, were among 
these troops. Israel Putnam, too, was there, as a captain, 
and John Stark as a lieutenant, each taking lessons in 

The French were not idle; the district of Montreal 
made the most strenuous exertions to meet the invading 

1 Bancroft. 



t— i 







foe. All the men who were able to bear arms were called chap. 

into active service ; so that to gather in the harvest, their - 

places were supplied by men from other districts. The 1755, 
energetic Baron Dieskau resolved, by a bold attack, to 
terrify the invaders. Taking with him two hundred reg- 
ulars, and about twelve hundred Canadians and Indians, 
he set out to capture Fort Edward ; but as he drew near, 
the Indians heard that it was defended by cannon, which 
they greatly dreaded, and they refused to advance. He 
now changed his plan, and resolved to attack Johnson's 
camp, which was supposed to be without cannon. 

Meantime scouts had reported to Johnson, that they 
had seen roads made through the woods in the direction 
of Fort Edward. Not knowing the movements of Dies- 
kau, a detachment of a thousand men, under Colonel 
Ephraim Williams, of Massachusetts, and two hundred 
Mohawks, under Hendrick, marched to relieve that post. 
The French had information of their approach, and 
placed themselves in ambush. They were concealed 
among the thick bushes of a swamp, on the one side, and 
rocks and trees on the other. The English recklessly 
marched into the defile. They were vigorously attacked, 
and thrown into confusion. Hendrick was almost in- 
stantly killed, and in a short time Williams fell also. The 5 - 
detachment commenced to retreat, occasionally halting 
to check their pursuers. The firing was heard in the 
camp; as the sound drew nearer and nearer, it was evi- 
dent the detachment was retreating. The drums beat to 
arms, trees were hastily felled and thrown together to 
form a breastwork, upon which were placed a few cannon, 
just arrived from the Hudson. Scarcely were* these prep- 
arations made, when the panting fugitives appeared in 
sight, hotly pursued by the French and Indians. Intend- 
ing to enter the camp with the fugitives, Dieskau urged 
forward his men with the greatest impetuosity. The mo- 
ment the fugitives were past the muzzles of the cannon, 



chap they opened with a tremendous shower of grape, which 
* XIL scattered the terrified Indians and checked the Cana- 
"55- d i a ns, but the regulars pushed on. A determined contest 
ensued, which lasted five hours, until the regulars were 
nearly all slain, while the Indians and Canadians did but 
little execution; they remained at a respectful distance 
among the trees. At length the enemy began to retreat, 
and the Americans leaped over the breastwork and pur- 
sued them with great vigor. That same evening, after the 
pursuit had ceased, as the French were retreating, they 
were suddenly attacked with great spirit by the New 
Hampshire regiment, which was on its way from Fort 
Edward They were so panic-stricken by this new as- 
sault, that they abandoned every thing, and fled for their 

lives. . ,, 

Dieskau had been wounded once or twice at the com- 
mencement of the battle, but he never left his post; two 
of his soldiers generously attempted to carry him out ot 
danger, but when in the act one of them received his 
death wound ; he urged the other to flee. In the midst of 
flying bullets he calmly seated himself on the stump of a 
neighboring tree. He was taken prisoner, kindly treated, 
and sent to England, where he died. 

Johnson was slightly wounded at the commencement 
of the battle, and prudently retired from danger. To 
General Lyman belongs the honor of the victory, yet 
Johnson, in his report of the battle, did not even mention 
his name. Johnson, for his exertions on that day, was 
made a baronet, and received from royal favor a gift of 
twenty-five thousand dollars. He had friends at court, 
but Lyman was unknown. 

Colonel Ephraim Williams, who fell in this battle, 
while passing through Albany had taken the precaution 
to make his will, in which he bequeathed property to 
found a free school in western Massachusetts, lnat 
school has since grown into Williams CoLLEGE-a mon- 


ument more honorable than one of granite, one fraught chap. 

with blessings to future generations. - 

Johnson, instead of pushing on to take advantage of 1755, 
the victory, loitered in his camp, and finally built and 
garrisoned a useless wooden fort, which he named Wil- 
liam Henry. 

As has been mentioned, the retreat of Dunbar left the 
frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania subject to the hor- 
rors of savage warfare. Washington was intrusted with 
their defence, but so few men had he at his command, 
and they so scattered, as to afford but little protection. 
The distant settlers of Virginia were driven in, and the 
beautiful valley of the Shenandoah became almost a deso- 
lation. Governor Dinwiddie, as an apology for not fur- 
nishing more soldiers, wrote : " We dare not part with any 
of our white men to any distance, as we must have a 
watchful eye over our negro slaves." In one of his letters, 
Washington says: "The supplicating tears of women 
and moving petitions of the men, melt me into such 
deadly sorrow, that for the people's ease, I could offer 
myself a willing sacrifice to the treacherous enemy. " 

The village of Kittanning, twenty or thirty miles up 
the Alleghany, above Fort Du Quesne, was the head- 
quarters of a notable Indian chief, known as Captain 
Jacobs. Incited by the French, he and his bands made 
many murderous incursions against the settlements of 
Pennsylvania. His associate was the Delaware chief 
Shingis. Benjamin Franklin, who had been appointed 
colonel by the governor, had organized the Pennsylvania 
militia to protect the frontiers, and after his resignation, 
Colonel John Armstrong, afterward a major-general in 
the Revolutionary war, was chosen in his place. He re- 
solved to destroy these Indians and their village. Three 
hundred Pennsylvanians volunteered for the enterprise. 
In the latter part of September they set out on horseback 
across the mountains, and in a few days came into the 


chap, vicinity of Kittanning, at night. They heard the savages 

. - carousing and yelling; they left their horses, approached 

g^ - the village, and arranged the order of attack. The night 
was warm, the Indians soon began to separate, some to 
sleep in the corn-fields near by, and some in wigwams. As 
day began to dawn, the Americans surrounded the party, 
and, at a given signal, rushed to the attack. The Indians 
were taken by surprise, but soon the voice of Jacobs was 
heard loud above the din, cheering on his warriors, and 
shouting, " We are men, we will not be prisoners." The 
wigwams were set on fire, and warriors were heard singing 
their death-song in the midst of the flames. Jacobs at- 
tempted to break through the surrounding foe, but his 
career was cut short by a rifle-ball. This nest of savage 
murderers was entirely broken up; the survivors went 
further west, and for a season the frontiers had peace. 

Lord Loudon was appointed a sort of viceroy of all the 
colonies. He sent General Abercrombie as his lieutenant, 
having suspended Governor Shirley, and ordered him to 
June, repair to England. Abercrombie arrived in June, and 
brought with him several British regiments. It was con- 
fidently expected that something important would now 
be done. These royal gentlemen had an army of seven 
thousand men at Albany, but, as the Frenchmen had 
said, they were "slow and dilatory," — they spent the 
summer in adjusting the rank of the officers. The sol- 
diers of the colonies, though they had, by their indomit- 
able courage, saved the remnant of the British army on 
the banks of the Monongahela, though, at Lake George, 
they had driven the enemy before them, and had de- 
fended their soil and maintained the honor of the English 
name, yet they were not permitted to elect their own 
officers, and if they were appointed by the colonial gov- 
ernors, those of the same rank by royal appointment 
took the precedence. These were the petty annoyances 
dictated by little minds, that aided so much in alienating 


the colonists from the mother country, and in the end chap. 


leading them to independence. - 

While the English were thus trifling, Montcalm, the 1756, 
successor of Dieskau, was acting. With five thousand 
Frenchmen, Canadians, and Indians, he darted across the 
lake, and suddenly presented himself at the gates of Fort 
Ontario, at the mouth of the Oswego. He met with a 
vigorous resistance; not until they had lost all hope of 
receiving aid, and their brave commander, Colonel Mer- 
cer, was killed, did the garrison surrender. An immense Aug. 
amount of military stores fell into the hands of Mont- 14 * 
calm ; he sent the captured flags to adorn the churches of 
Canada, and to please the Iroquois, who promised neu- 
trality, he demolished the fort. Though it was known 
that this important post was threatened, yet no means 
were taken to relieve it. Thus Loudon planned and 
counterplanned, accomplished nothing, and then with- 
drew from his arduous labors into winter-quarters. He 
demanded free quarters for his officers of the citizens of 
Albany, New York, and Philadelphia. As the demand 
was " contrary to the laws of England and the liberties of 
America," they refused to accede to it. He threatened to 
bring his soldiers and compel them to submit to the out- 
rage. The citizens, in their weakness, raised subscrip- 
tions to support for the winter those who had wasted the 
resources of the country. Thus a military chief invaded, 
not merely the political rights of the people, but the 
sanctities of their domestic life. 

Montcalm was undisturbed in making preparations to 
capture Fort William Henry, before which he appeared, 1757. 
the next year, with a large French and Indian force. The 
garrison numbered about three thousand men, under 
Colonel Monroe, a brave officer, who, when summoned to 
surrender, indignantly refused, and immediately sent to 
General Webbe, at Fort Edward, fifteen miles distant, 
for aid. He could have relieved Monroe, for he had four 


chap, thousand men at his disposal, but when Putnam obtained 


- permission to go to the aid of the fort, and had proceeded 

1757, some miles with his rangers, Webbe recalled him. Then 
he sent a letter to Monroe advising him to surrender. This 
letter fell into the hands of Montcalm, who was on the 
point of raising the siege, but he now sent the letter to 
Monroe, with another demand to surrender. The brave 
veteran would not capitulate, but held out till half his 
guns were rendered useless. Montcalm was too brave and 
generous not to appreciate nobleness in others, and he 
granted him the privilege of marching out with the hon- 
Aug. ors of war. The only pledge he asked, was that the sol- 
9 * diers should not engage in war against the French for 
eighteen months. They were to retain their private prop- 
erty, and Canadian and Indian prisoners were to be re- 

Montcalm held a council of the Indians, who con- 
sented to the terms of the treaty, though they were sadly 
disappointed in their hopes of plunder. He refused them 
rum, and thus he could restrain them ; but, unfortunately 
the night after the surrender they obtained it from the 
English. In the morning they were frantic from the 
effects of intoxication, and when the garrison were leav- 
ing their camp, they fell upon the stragglers. The 
French officers did all they could to restrain them, and 
some were even wounded in their exertions to save the 
English soldiers from savage violence. Montcalm, in his 
agony, cried, "Kill me, but spare the English; they are 
under my protection." Instead of an orderly retreat to 
Fort Edward, it was a flight. 

Thus the French, with a population in Canada, not 
one- twentieth part as great as that of the English colo- 
nies, seemed triumphant everywhere. Was it strange 
that the colonists began to lose their respect for those sent 
to protect them from their enemies — especially for the 
officers? They believed the interference of the home 
government hindered the advancement of their cause, 


while the majority of the royalist governors seemed to be chap. 

actuated by no worthier motive than that of promoting 

their own interests. 1757 ' 

Though the French were thus victorious, and pos- 
sessed the valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, 
and apparently all the continent, except a little strip 
along the Atlantic coast, yet Canada was exhausted. 
The struggle was virtually over. Her men had been 
drawn to the battle-field, while their farms were left un- 
titled, and now famine was beginning to press upon the 
people. Their cattle and sheep were destroyed, and horse- 
flesh was made to supply the place of beef; no aid could 
come from France, as nearly all intercourse was cut off by 
the ever-present British cruisers. The French owed their 
success, not to their own strength, but to the imbecility 
of the English commanders. 



William Pitt, Prime Minister — Lord Amherst, Commander-in-chief. 
— Plan of Operations. — Louisburg captured. — Abercrombie on 
Lake George; Repulse and Retreat. — Bradstreet captures Fort 
Frontenac. — Expedition against Fort Du Quesne. — Colonel 
Grant. — Washington takes possession of the Fort; resigns his 
Commission. — Ticonderoga abandoned; the French retire to 
Canada. — Wolfe appears before Quebec. — Exertions of Mont- 
calm. — The British on the Heights of Abraham. — The Battle. — 
Deaths of Wolfe and Montcalm; their Memories. — Quebec ca- 
pitulates. — The Cherokee War. — Destruction of their Crops and 
Villages; their Revenge. — Pontiac; his Character and Plans. — ■ 
Desolations along the Frontiers. — General Bouquet. — Pontiac's 

chap. The people of England were not indifferent spectators of 

. 1 these failures; they noticed the feeble manner in which 

1757 - the war was conducted, and attributed the want of suc- 
cess to the inefficiency of those in command. 

Through their influence, William Pitt, one of them- 
selves, not of the aristocracy, was called to the head of 
affairs. He appreciated the character and patriotism of 
the colonists. Instead of devising measures that would 
impoverish them, he, at once, assumed the expenses of 
the war; announced that the money they had already 
spent for that purpose should be refunded, and that for 
the future such expenses would be borne by the home 
government ; also arms and clothing should be furnished 
the soldiers who would enlist. This act of justice brought 
into the field fifty thousand men — a number greater than 
that of the entire male population of Canada at that 


Lord Jeffrey Amherst was appointed commander-in- chap. 


chief of the British army. He had for his lieutenant the - 

young and talented James Wolfe, who, although but 1757 ' 
thirty-one years of age, had spent eighteen of those years 
in the army, where, by his noble bearing, he had won for 
himself the admiration of both friends and foes. 

According to the general plan, Amherst himself was to 
head the expedition against Louisburg and Quebec ; while 
General Forbes was to capture Fort Du Quesne and take 
possession of the valley of the Ohio, and Abercrombie to 
take Ticonderoga, the French stronghold on Lake Cham- 
plain. With Abercrombie was associated Lord Howe, 
who was characterized as the soul of the enterprise. June, 

On the 8th of June, Amherst landed with his forces 1758, 
near the city of Louisburg. Under the cover of a fire 
from the ships Wolfe led the first division. He forbade a 
gun to be fired, urged on the rowers, and in the face of 
the enemy leaped into the water and, followed by his men, 
waded to the shore. The French deserted their outposts, 
and retired to the fortress in the town. After a bombard- 
ment of fifty days, when the French shipping in the har- 
bor was destroyed, and all hope of receiving assistance at 
an end, the fortress surrendered. At the same time were juiy 
given up the islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward, 27 * 
five thousand prisoners, and an immense amount of mili- 
tary stores. 

Abercrombie and Lord Howe advanced against Ticon- 
deroga. Their army, which amounted to seven thousand 
English and nine thousand Americans, assembled at the 
head of Lake George. They passed in flat-boats down 
to the foot of the lake, where they disembarked and hur- 
ried on toward Ticonderoga; but through the ignorance 
of their guide, missed their way, and the advance fell into j u i y 
an ambuscade of a French scouting party. The enemj 6 - 
was soon put to flight, but Lord Howe fell at the head Q? 


chap, his men. His death threw a doom over the camp — the 


1 soldiers had confidence in no other leader. Their fore- 

1758. bodmgg were soon realized. The British engineer recon- 
noitred the French works, and reported them as weak; 
but Stark, who knew their strength, affirmed they were 
strong and well furnished. Abercrombie believed his en- 
gineer, and without waiting for his artillery, he ordered an 
attack. His soldiers performed prodigies of valor, but 
were forced to retire, with a loss of two thousand of their 
number. In this battle was wounded Charles Lee, then a 
captain, and afterward a major-general in the Revolution- 
ary army. The indefatigable Montcalm had disposed his 
small army to the very best advantage, and was present 
wherever he was specially needed. Abercrombie ordered 
his men to attempt an impossibility, but judiciously kept 
himself out of danger. The English army was yet four to 
one of the French, and could have conquered with the aid 
of the cannon which had been brought up, yet Abercrom- 
bie hastily retreated. As Montcalm's troops were few 
and exhausted, he did not attempt to pursue him. 

The monotony of disasters was disturbed by Colonel, 
Bradstreet, of New York, who, after much solicitation, 
obtained permission to go against Fort Frontenac, which, 
from its position at the foot of Lake Ontario, commanded 
that lake and the St. Lawrence. It was a central point 
for trading with the Indians; a great magazine which 
supplied all the posts on the upper lakes and Ohio with 
military stores. With twenty-seven hundred men, all 
Americans, principally from New York and Massachu- 
setts, Bradstreet passed rapidly and secretly to Oswego, 
and thence across the lake in open boats, and landed 
Aug. within a mile of the fort. The majority of the garrison, 
terrified at the sudden appearance of enemies, fled; the 
next day the remainder surrendered. There was found 
an immense amount of military stores, some of them des- 
tined for Fort Du Quesne, and a fleet of nine armed ves- 


sels, which held the command of the lake. The fort was chap. 


razed to its foundations, two of the vessels were laden - 

with stores and brought to Oswego; the remaining stores 17 
and ships were destroyed. 

The troops raised in Pennsylvania for the expedition 
under General Forbes against Fort Du Quesne were as- 
sembled at Raystown, on the Juniata. Washington was 
at Cumberland, with the Virginian regiment. His plan 
was to march directly upon the fort by the road which 
Braddock had made. This common-sense plan was re- 
jected, and the suggestions of some land speculators 
adopted, and Forbes ordered a new road to be cut 
through the wilderness further north. 

General Bouquet with the advance passed over the 
Laurel Hill, and established a post at Loyal Hanna. 
Without permission he despatched Major Grant with 
eight hundred Highlanders and a company of Virginians 
to reconnoitre in the vicinity of Fort Du Quesne. Grant Sept. 
was permitted to approach unmolested, though the 15# 
French knew from their scouts of all his movements. As 
he drew near, he sent a party to take a plan of the fort, 
and placed Major Lewis with the Virginians to guard the 
baggage, as if they were not to be trusted in the contest. 
Not a gun was fired from the fort. Grant self-compla- 
cently attributed this to the dread his regulars had in- 
spired. All this time the Indians lay quietly in ambush, 
waiting for the signal to commence the attack. Pres- 
ently out rushed the garrison, and attacked the High- 
landers in front, while in a moment the fearful war-whoop 
arose on both flanks. Terrified at the unusual contest, 
they were thrown into confusion; their bewildered offi- 
cers began to manoeuvre them as if in the open field. 
Major Lewis with some of his party hastened to the 
rescue, and there fought hand to hand with the savages. 
The detachment, overpowered by numbers, was com- 


chap, pletely routed, and Grant and Lewis were both made 

- prisoners. The fugitives soon reached the place where 

1758. ^gy j e fj. foe baggage. Captain Bullit hastily formed a 
barricade with the wagons, behind which he waited the 
approach of the pursuers. When they were within a few 
yards, the Virginians poured in a fire so direct and deadly 
as to check them. They soon rallied and again ap- 
proached. This time, Captain Bullit and his men ad- 
vanced, as if to surrender, but when within eight yards 
he again poured in an effective fire, and immediately 
charged bayonet. The pursuers were so astonished at 
the suddenness and manner of attack that they fled in 
dismay, while the Virginians retreated with all speed. 

When the news of this disaster reached the main 
army, it well-nigh ruined the whole enterprise; as a coun- 
cil of war decided to give up the attempt for that year, 
as it was now November, and there were yet fifty miles of 
unbroken forest between them and the fort. Just then 
some prisoners were brought in, from whom the defence- 
less condition of the fort was learned. Washington was 
given the command of a division with which to push for- 
ward. In a few days they arrived in the neighborhood of 
Du Quesne. Instead of meeting with a vigorous resist- 
ance, they were surprised to learn that the place had been 
abandoned the day before. The French commander had 
blown up his magazines, burned every building that 
would burn, and with his company gone on board of flat- 
Nov. boats and floated down the Ohio. On the twenty-fifth of 
25. November, Washington marched into the deserted fort, 
and planted the English colors. An impulse of grateful 
feeling changed the name to Fort Pitt — since Pittsburg, 
in honor of the illustrious man — the first of English states- 
men, who appreciated the character of the American colo- 
nists, and who was willing to do them justice. Situated 
at the head of the Ohio, in a region celebrated for its agri- 
cultural and mineral wealth, and settled by a moral and 


industrious population, it has far exceeded in importance chap. 

any other acquisition made during the war. A fit monu- 1 

ment to the memory of the "Great Commoner." 1758 > 

The object of the campaign thus secured, Washington, 
leaving two Virginia regiments to garrison the fort, re- 
signed his commission and retired to private life. In the 
mean time he had been elected a member of the House of 
Burgesses. A few months afterward, on the opening of 
the session, the House, by vote, resolved to receive the 
youthful champion with some befitting manifestation of 
its regard. Accordingly, when he took his seat as a mem- 
ber, the Speaker addressed him, giving him thanks for the 
military services he had rendered his country. Taken by 
surprise, Washington rose to reply, but words were want- 
ing; he faltered and blushed. " Sit down, Mr. Washing- 
ton^ kindly said the Speaker; "your modesty equals 
your valor, and that surpasses the power of any language 
I possess." 

This year closed with great advantages to the English. 
The cunning Indians — still true to the winning side — be- 
gan to desert the French, and to form treaties of peace or 
neutrality with their enemies. The comprehensive mind 
of Pitt was devising plans to crush the French power in 
America. He promptly paid all the expenses incurred by 
the colonists during the past year, and they with alacrity 
entered into his schemes. Wolfe was to ascend the St. 
Lawrence*; Amherst was to advance by way of Lake 
Champlain, and capture Montreal, and then join Wolfe 
before Quebec; while General Prideaux was to capture 
Fort Niagara, and pass down Lake Ontario to Montreal. 

As Amherst advanced against Ticonderoga, the 1759. 
French abandoned that post, and the others as he ap- July 
proached; he wasted his time in fortifying the places 
deserted by the enemy, as if they who were so exhausted 
as to be scarcely able to get out of his way, would ever 
return! Though General Prideaux was unfortunately 


chap, killed by the bursting of a gun, yet Sir William Johnson, 

on whom the command devolved, took Niagara ; and thus 

1759. fae chain which joined the French forts of Canada, with 
those of the valley of the Mississippi, was broken forever. 
June The fleet and troops designed against Quebec, assem- 

27 * bled at Louisburg. In the latter part of June the arma- 
ment arrived at the Isle of Orleans, upon which the 
troops immediately landed. The rock on which stood the 
citadel of St. Louis, could be seen to the west looming up 
more than three hundred feet, bidding defiance to the 
invaders. In the rear were the Heights of Abraham, a 
plain extending for miles, while all along the shore the 
high cliffs seemed to be an impregnable defence. 

To meet this force, Montcalm had only a few enfeebled 
battalions and Canadian militia. The Indians held them- 
selves aloof. The English fleet consisted of twenty-two 
ships of the line, and as many frigates. As master of one 
of these ships was Captain James Cook, afterward cele- 
brated as the discoverer of the many isles of the Pacific. 
Under Wolfe were four young and ardent commanders, 
Robert Monckton, afterward governor of New York; 
George Townshend, and James Murray, and also Colonel 
Howe, afterward Sir William, who for a time commanded 
the British army in the American Revolution. 

Quebec, situated on a peninsula between the St. Law- 
rence and the river St. Charles, was defended on three 
sides by these rivers, leaving only the west exposed. The 
lower town was on the beach, while the upper was on the 
cliff two hundred feet above. The high cliffs of the north 
shore of the St. Lawrence were deemed a sufficient de- 
fence. It was thought impossible for an army to scale 
them. Below on the St. Lawrence, between the St. 
Charles and the Montmorenci rivers, was Montcalm's 
camp, guarded by many floating batteries and ships of 
war. But the naval superiority of the English soon ren- 
dered them masters of the water. 


The French troops were driven from Point Levi, di- chap. 


rectly opposite Quebec, and Wolfe erected batteries on - 

that spot, and began to bombard the lower town, which 17 9# 
was soon reduced to ashes ; but owing to the distance, the 
fortress and the upper town could not be injured. Wolfe 
then passed over to the north side of the river, below the 
Montmorenci, intending to pass that stream, and force 
Montcalm to a battle. 

When this design was carried into effect, the first 
division, consisting of the grenadiers, rashly rushed on to 
storm the French lines before the second division could 
come up to support them. They were repulsed, with a 
loss of nearly five hundred men. Diversions were also 
made above the town to induce the enemy to come into 
the open field, but without success. Montcalm merely 
sent De Bougainville with fifteen hundred men to guard 
against these attacks. 

The repulse at Montmorenci occasioned the sensitive July, 
Wolfe much suffering. He looked for the tardy Amherst, 
but in vain! No tidings came from him, and it seemed 
as if the enterprise, the first under his own command ; 
was about to fail. He was thrown into a violent fever by 
his anxiety. As a last resort, it was resolved, in a coun- 
cil held around his bed, to scale the Heights of Abraham. 
In order to do this, the French must be deceived. There- 
fore Captain Cook was sent to take soundings and place 
buoys opposite Montcalm's camp, as if that was to be the 
special object of attack. Meantime, the shore for many 
miles above the town, was carefully examined. At one 
place was found a little indentation in the bank, from 
which a path wound up the cliff, — there they determined 
to make the attempt. This is now known as Wolfe's 
Cove. The troops were put on shipboard and suddenly 
sailed up the river, as if intending to pass beyond the 
French lines and there land. At night the ships lay to, 
and the troops, in boats, dropped down with the tide to 


chap. Wolfe's Cove, followed by the ships designed to cover 

- their landing, if necessary. As they passed, a French 

1759, sentinel hailed them with the inquiry, " Who goes there? '' 
"La France," answered a captain. "What regiment?" 
"The Queen's" — that being one of the regiments up the 
river with Bougainville. The sentinel was deceived. 
They passed on to the Cove, and quietly landing began to 
grope their way up the cliff, clinging to the shrubs and 
rocks for support. In the morning the entire army was 
on the Heights of Abraham, ready for battle. 
Sept. Montcalm was thunderstruck, when he heard the 

3 - news. "It must surely be, ' ' said he, " a small party come 
to pillage, and then retire." More correct information 
revealed to him the whole truth. There was no time to 
be lost. He sent immediately for the detachment of 
Bougainville, which was fifteen miles up the river. The 
Indians and Canadians advanced first, and subjected the 
English to an irregular, and galling fire. Wolfe ordered 
his men to reserve their fire for the French regulars, 
who were rapidly approaching. When they were within 
forty yards, the English poured upon them a stream of 
musketry, aided by grape-shot from a few guns dragged 
up the cliff by the sailors. It was a fierce conflict. The 
respective commanders were opposite to each other. 
Wolfe, although wounded twice, continued to give his 
orders with clearness ; but as he advanced with the grena- 
diers, who were to make their final charge with the bay- 
onet, he received a ball in the breast. He knew the 
wound was mortal, and when falling said to the officer 
nearest to him : " Let not my brave fellows see me fall." 
He was carried to the rear; when asked if he would have 
a surgeon, he answered : " It is needless ; it is all over with 
me." As his life was fast ebbing, the cry was raised — 
"See, they run! they run!" "Who run!" asked the 
dying man. "The enemy, sir," was the answer. "Do 
they run already?" he asked with evident surprise. 

't0t0*w3& r ~ ■ 


















Summoning his failing energies, " Go one of you, to Gol- chap. 

onel Burton," said he; "tell him to march Webb's regi- - 

ment with all speed down to Charles river, to cut off the ^5' 
retreat by the bridge." Then turning upon his side, he 13. 
murmured, "Now God be praised, I die happy." These 
were the last words of the young hero, in whom were 
centred the hopes of his soldiers and of his country. 
Monckton was severely wounded, and the command de- 
volved upon Townshend, who, content with being master 
of the field, called the troops from the pursuit. Just at 
the close of the battle Bougainville appeared with his 
division ; but the contest was declined. 

There is a peculiar interest attached to the name and 
character of Wolfe. A mind sensitive in its emotions and 
vigorous in its thoughts, animated his feeble body. He 
maintained a love for the quieter paths of literature, even 
amid the excitements of the camp. On the clear star- 
light night preceding the battle, as the boat in which he 
was seated with his officers was silently floating down the 
St. Lawrence, he recited to them that classic poem, 
Gray's "Elegy in a Country Church-yard;" then just 
published. Death seems to have already cast its dark 
shadow upon him, and doubtless many of the finer pas- 
sages of the poem were in accordance with his subdued 
and melancholy emotions. Then for a time the aspira- 
tions of the man of feeling and poetic taste triumphed over 
the sterner ambition of the warrior, and at its close he ex- 
claimed: "I would rather be the author of that poem 
than to take Quebec to-morrow." 

The brave and generous Montcalm was mortally 
wounded near the close of th6 battle. When carried into 
the city, the surgeon informed him that he could survive 
only a few hours. "So much the better," he calmly re- 
plied, " I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." 
When asked his advice about defending the city, he an- 




chap, swered: "To your keeping I commend the honor of 
France. I will neither give orders nor interfere any fur- 
ther; I have business of greater moment to attend to; 
my time is short; I shall pass this night with God, and 
prepare myself for death." He then wrote a letter to the 
English commander, commending to his favor the French 
prisoners. The next morning he died. That generation 
passed away, and with it the animosity which existed be- 

1827. tween the conquerors and the conquered. The united 
people of another generation erected a granite monument, 
on which they inscribed the names of Montcalm and 

Sept. Five days after the battle Quebec surrendered. There 

were great rejoicings both in America and England. 
Praises were lavished upon Pitt. He in Parliament re- 
plied, "I will aim to serve my country, but the more a 
man is versed in business, the more he finds the hand of 
Providence everywhere." The next year an attempt was 
made by the French to recover Quebec, but it failed. An 
overwhelming force was brought against Montreal. Re- 
sistance was vain, and Vaudreuil, the governor, surren- 
dered all the French stations on the Lakes. The troops 
were to be sent home, and the Canadians, protected in 
their property, were to enjoy their religious privileges. 
Thus passed away the French power in Canada. De- 
pendent upon the mother country, the inhabitants had 
never exercised the right of self-government ; they lacked 
the energy essential to success as an independent people. 
They have assimilated but little with their conquerors. 
They still preserve that gay simplicity of manners, so 
characteristic of their nation, and an ardent attachment 
to the church of their fathers. 

Meantime disturbances had occurred on the south- 
west. The Cherokees had always been the friends of the 
English, and had undertaken to protect the frontiers 
south of the Potomac, yet for this their warriors, when 


about to return home, received no reward from the gov- chap. 



ernment — not even supplies of food for their journey. 
What the State failed to do was done by Washington and 
his officers, who supplied their- wants. The next year 
more Cherokees joined the expedition under Forbes 
against Fort Du Quesne. As they were returning home 
along the western borders of Virginia, to avoid starvation 
they helped themselves to what they wanted. This led 
to quarrels with the backwoodsmen, who killed and 
scalped some of their number. When this was told in the 
land of the Cherokees, it caused sorrow, indignation, and 
alarm; the women, relatives of those who were slain, 
poured forth deep and bitter wailings for the dead; the 
young warriors, indignant, armed themselves for revenge; 
the old men cautioned and counselled, and did all in their 
power to prevent war, but in vain; two white men fell 
victims to the rage of the young warriors. Tiftoe and 
five other chieftains went to Charleston to beg for peace, 
and to heal differences. The governor, the haughty and 
arbitrary Lyttleton, demanded that the young men who, Oct., 
according to the ideas of the sons of the forest, had vindi- 1759# 
cated the honor of their nation, " should be delivered up 
or put to death in their own land.' 7 This, the Cherokees 
thought, would only add fuel to the flame already kin- 
dled. The legislature decided unanimously that there 
was no cause for war. News came from the frontier that 
all was peaceful; " there were no bad talks." The obsti- 
nate governor persisted in his demand, and created more 
disturbance. Then he told the chiefs who wished for 
peace to come to him and hold a talk, and promised them 
safe conduct to and from Charleston. Trusting to his 
word, the great warrior Oconostata came with thirty 
others. But Lyttleton must obtain for himself the glory 
of a successful expedition against the Cherokees. He 
called out the militia in spite of the remonstrances of the 
people, of the legislature, and of his own council, and 


chap, basely retained as prisoners, those who had trusted his 
1 word. He marched into the country of the Cherokees, 

1759. f orce d a treaty from the feeble old chief, who had no au- 
thority to make one, and then returned in fancied tri- 
umph. Oconostata and a few others were liberated. 
The remainder Lyttleton ordered to be kept prisoners at 
Fort Prince George till twenty-four warriors should be 
given up to him. Oconostata made an attempt to 
liberate his friends. In this effort a white man was 
killed ; then, in revenge, the garrison murdered the pris- 
oners. Now the rage of the Cherokees knew no bounds. 
They exclaimed : " The spirits of our murdered brothers 
are flying around us screaming for vengeance." The leg- 
islature strongly condemned the perfidious conduct of 
Lyttleton, and asserted their "birth-rights as British 
subjects," and affirmed that he had "violated their un- 
doubted privileges." Yet this very man received the 
highest commendations from the "Board of Trade." 

The Cherokees, driven to desperation by such treat- 
ment, called to their aid the Muscogees, and sent to 
Louisiana for military supplies. The Carolinians applied 
to General Amherst, who sent them twelve hundred men, 

1760. principally Highlanders, under General Montgomery. 
They, with the Carolinians, pressed forward, by forced 
marches, into the land of the Cherokees. Why give the 
details of desolated settlements? Village after village 
was destroyed, and fertile valleys laid waste. On the 
upper Savannah was the beautiful vale of Keowee, " the 
delight of the Cherokees." They had become so far civil- 
ized as to build comfortable houses, and to surround them 
with cultivated fields. Suddenly appeared the invaders. 
The great majority of the Indians, after an attempt at 

Jul y< defence, fled, and from the distant mountain-tops saw the 
enemy burning their houses and destroying their crops. 
"I cannot help pitying them a little," writes Colonel 
Grant ; " their villages are agreeably situated, their houses 


neatly built. There were everywhere astonishing maga- chap. 
zines of corn, which were all consumed." - 

After this dash at the Cherokees, Montgomery imme- 1760, 
diately retreated to the north, as ordered by Amherst 
The Indians were not subdued, but enraged; they con 
tinued to ravage the back settlements of the Carolinas. 

Immediately after the surrender of Canada, all the 1763. 
French stations on the lakes were occupied by the con- 
querors, and the little stockade posts throughout all that 
region, and in the valley of the Ohio, were garrisoned by 
a few men, in many instances not exceeding twenty. The 
French, either as traders or as religious teachers, had won 
the confidence and the affection of the Indians, by a 
friendly intercourse extending through more than half a 
century. Was it strange that the contrast appeared great 
to them, between these friends and companions and the 
domineering English soldiers, who insulted their priests 
and vilified their religion? The French had prohibited 
the trade in rum, but the English introduced the traffic, 
and the demoralization of the Indians commenced. The 
capture of Fort Du Quesne was the signal for a torrent 
of emigration, which poured over the mountains into the 
valleys of the Monongahela and Alleghany. The Indians 
feared the pale-faces would drive them from their homes. 

Adopted into the tribe of the Ottawas, was a Catawba, 
who had been brought from the South as a prisoner, but 
who had, by his genius and bravery, risen to be a chief. 
He had the most unbounded influence over his own and 
other tribes, and was styled " the king and lord of all the 
country of the north-west." "How dare you come to 
visit my country without my leave?" demanded he of the 
first English officer who came to take possession of the 
French forts. Such was Pontiac, the Philip of the north- 
west, who, in the war which bears his name, made the last 
great struggle for the independence of the Red Man. 
This master spirit planned, and partially executed, one of 


chap, the most comprehensive schemes ever conceived by In- 


dian sagacity to expel the invaders, and maintain his own 

5763. au thority as " king and lord" of all that region. He in- 
duced the Delawares, the Shawnees, the Senecas, the 
Miamis, and many lesser tribes, who roamed over the vast 
region in the basin of the upper lakes, in the valley of the 
Ohio, and a portion of that of the Mississippi, to join in 
the conspiracy. He sent a prophet through the land to 
proclaim that the Great Spirit had revealed to him, " that 
if the English were permitted to dwell in their midst, then 
the white man's diseases and poisons would utterly de- 
stroy them." This conspiracy was more than a year in 
forming, yet .it was kept a profound secret. 

Detroit had the largest garrison, was the great centre 
for the trade of the upper lakes, and most important in 
its influence. Here the French were numerous; they 
tilled their farms, as well as engaged in the traffic of furs. 
Pontiac desired to obtain possession of the fort. He inti- 
mated that he was coming with his warriors to have a 
"talk" with his English brothers. Meantime, Gladwin, 
the commander, had learned of the conspiracy. Finding 
that the plot was discovered, Pontiac threw off the mask, 
and boldly attacked the fort, but without success. This 
was the commencement of a series of surprises; the In- 
dians, in the short space of three weeks, captured every 
station west of Niagara, except Detroit and Pittsburg. 
The soldiers of the garrisons were nearly all put to death > 
more than one hundred traders were murdered and 
scalped in the wilderness, and more than five hundred 
families, after losing hundreds of their members, were 
driven from their homes on the frontiers. A large force 
from several tribes concentrated around Pittsburg, the 
most important post in the valley of the Ohio; yet the 
brave garrison could not be caught by their wiles, nor 
conquered by their arms. Their ravages, in the mean 
while, extended to all the settlements and posts on the 


head-waters of the Ohio, and on the lakes to the region chap. 

. . XXIII. 

between the Mississippi and the Ohio. - 

General Bouquet was sent from Eastern Pennsylvania 1763, 
to relieve Fort Ligonier, just at the western foot of the 
mountains, and Pittsburg. His army consisted of not 
more than five hundred effective men, principally Scotch 
Highlanders. They had with them a train of wagons, 
drawn by oxen, and pack-horses laden with military 
stores and necessary provisions, and a drove of beef cat- 
tle. Passing through a region desolated by the savages, 
they saw the remains of burnt cabins, and the harvests 
standing uncut in the fields. 

When he arrived at Ligonier, Bouquet could learn 
nothing from the west, as all intercourse had been cut off. 
Leaving there his wagons and cattle, he pushed forward 
to ascertain the fate of Pittsburg. The Indians besieging 
that place, heard of his approach, and they resolved to 
place themselves in ambush, and defeat his army. As 
soon as the battle began, the Highlanders dashed at them 
with the bayonet, and the Indians fled; but when the 
pursuit slackened they rallied, and were again repulsed. 
At length, the number of the savages increased so much 
that they completely surrounded the Highlanders, who, 
during the night, encamped on the ridge of a hill. In the 
morning they could not advance, for their wounded men 
and baggage would fall into the hands of the enemy. Plac- 
ing two companies in ambush, Bouquet began to retreat, 
and immediately, with exulting yells, the Indians rushed 
on in pursuit, but when they came to the right point, 
those in ambush charged them on both sides, and those 
retreating wheeled and charged also. Panic-stricken by 
the suddenness of the attack, the savages broke and fled. 
The division then moved on to Pittsburg. From that 
day the valley of the Ohio was free from Indian violence. 
The stream of emigration began again to pour over the 


chap, mountains. The tribes, disheartened, began to make 

- treaties and promise peace. Pontiac would make no 

1764, treaty, nor acknowledge himself a friend of the English. 
He left his home and tribe and went to the country of 
1769- the Illinois, where he was assassinated. 

For nearly three-quarters of a century a dispute had 
existed between the authorities of the colonies of Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland in respect to their boundary line. 
Finally, a compromise was agreed upon by which a start- 
1760. ing-point was to be taken " fifteen English statute miles 
south of the latitude of the most southerly part of Phila- 
delphia." This point was to be on the circumference or 
tangent of a circle whose center was New Castle — now in 
Delaware — and radius twelve miles; from that "fifteen- 
mile point a line was to be run due west across the Susque- 
hannah, etc., to the utmost longitude of Pennsylvania." 
This circle sweeps round from the west to the north-east, 
and is said to be the only boundary in the world in which 
the circle is used. 

The king sent out from London two learned astrono- 
mers — Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon — to run the 
line. They commenced their labors, and in five years 
1768. made a report of their progress. Troubles with the In- 
dians interfered, and they could not finish the work, 
which was completed fifteen years afterward by other 
hands. The English surveyors cut openings through the 
woods; at the end of every mile they set up a stone, on 
one side of which the letter "P" was cut in, and on the 
other the letter "M;" and every five miles a stone 
brought from England, but instead of the letters were en- 
graved the coats-of-arms of the Penns and of Lord Balti- 
more. This line is artificial, not a mountain nor a river 
is used — it passes over both. No boundary has marked 
greater contrasts in society and its advancement than the 
famous "Mason and Dixon's line." 









Religious Influences among the earlier Settlers. — The later Emi- 
grants ; their Influence. — Love of domestic Life. — Laws enjoin- 
ing Morality. — Systems of Education; Common Schools. — 
John Calvin. — The Southerner; the Northerner. — The Anglo- 
Saxon Element; the Norman. — Influences in Pennsylvania; in 
New York. — Diversity of Ancestry. 

The conquest of Canada had removea apprehensions oi chap. 

war with France, or of incursions by the Indians. The L 

colonists naturally turned to their own affairs. They were 176 °* 
poor and in debt; a seven years' war had been within 
their borders ; their men had been drawn from the labor of 
industry to the battle-field. Yet that war, with its evils, 
had conferred benefits. It had made known to them their 
strength, and success had given them confidence. 

Before relating the events that led to the Revolution, 
let us take a rapid survey of the people, who were soon to 
take their place among the nations of the earth 

From the first they were an intelligent and a religious 
people. They were untrammelled in the exercise of their 
religion, and its spirit moulded public sentiment in all 
the colonies, whether settled by the Puritan or the 
Churchman, by the Dutch Calvinist or the Quaker, by 
the Huguenot or the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian. The two 
latter were of more recent emigration; they did not di- 
minish the high tone of morals already sustained by the 
earlier settlers. 



chap. The Huguenots came in small companies, and seldom 

1 settled together in large numbers, but mingled with the 

1760. colonists, and conformed more and more to their cus- 
toms, and, in time, became identified with them in inter- 
ests. Calvinists in doctrine, they generally united with 
either the Episcopal or Presbyterian churches, and by 
their piety and industrious habits exerted an influence 
that amply repaid the genuine hospitality with which 
they were everywhere received. 

The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians displayed the indomi- 
table energy and perseverance of their ancestors, with the 
same morality and love of their church. Even those who 
took post on the outskirts of civilization along the west- 
ern frontiers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and 
North Carolina, had their pastor, and trained their chil- 
dren in Bible truth, in the catechism, obedience to par- 
ents, — a wholesome doctrine practically enforced by all 
the colonists, — and reverence for the Sabbath and its sa- 
cred duties. They were a people decided in their charac- 
ter. They emigrated from their native land to enjoy 
civil and religious privileges, but they had also an eye to 
the improvement of their temporal affairs. 

The endearments of home and of the domestic fireside 
had charms for the colonists of every creed. The educa- 
tion of their children was deemed a religious duty, while 
around their households clustered the comforts and many 
of the refinements of the times. The example of their 
ancestors, who had sought in the wilderness an asylum, 
where they might enjoy their religion, had not been in 
vain ; a traditionary religious spirit had come down from 
those earlier days, and now pervaded the minds of the 

Though there was neither perfect uniformity in their 
forms of worship, nor in their interpretation of religious 
doctrines, yet one sentiment was sacred in the eyes of all 
— a reverence for the day of Holy Rest. The influences 



connected with the Sabbath, and impressed from week to chap. 
week, penetrated their inner life, and like an all-pervad- 
ing moral antiseptic preserved, in its purity, the religious 
character of the entire people. 

The laws of a people may be taken as the embodiment 
of their sentiments. Those enacted by our forefathers 
may excite a smile, yet they show that they were no time- 
servers — that they were conscientious and in earnest. 

In New England the laws noticed those who dressed 
more richly than their wealth would justify; they would 
not permit the man who defrauded his creditors to live in 
luxury ; those who did not vote, or would not serve when 
elected to office, they fined for their want of patriotism; 
they forbade "drinkings of healths as a bad habit;" they 
prohibited the wearing of embroidered garments and 
laces; they discouraged the use of "ribbons and great 
boots;" sleeves must reach to the wrist, and not be more 
than half an ell wide ; no one under twenty years of age 
was allowed to use tobacco, unless prescribed by a physi- 
cian; those who used it publicly were fined a sixpence; 
all persons were restrained from " swimming in the wa- 
ters on the Sabbath-day, or unreasonably walking in the 
fields or streets." 

In Virginia we see the same spirit. In every settle- 
ment there was to be "a house for the worship of God." 
Divine service was to be in accordance with the canons of 
the Church of England. Absence from church was pun- 
ished by a fine; the wardens were sworn to report cases 
of " drunkenness, swearing, and other vices." The drunk- 
ards were fined, the swearers also, at the rate of " a shil- 
ling an oath," slanderers and tale-bearers were pun- 
ished; travelling or shooting on the Sabbath forbidden. 
The minister was not to addict himself "to excess in 
drinking or riot, nor play cards or dice, but to hear or 
read the Holy Scriptures, catechize the children, and 
visit the sick." The wardens were bound to report the 


chap, masters and mistresses "who neglected to catechize the 

XXIV. . 

- ignorant persons under their charge." In the Carolinas 

176 °* laws of a similar character were enacted; and, in Penn- 
sylvania, against "stage plays, playing of cards, dice, 
May-games, masques, and revels." 

Although, at the time of which we write, many of 
these, and similar laws had become obsolete, yet the influ- 
ences which dictated them had, for one hundred and fifty 
years, been forming the character of the colonies. Hedged 
in on the one side by the ocean, and on the other by 
a howling wilderness filled with hostile savages, they 
acquired a certain energy of character, the result of 
watchfulness, and an individuality, which to this day dis- 
tinguishes their descendants. 

While emigrants were flocking to the colonies, these 

influences were somewhat disturbed, but for three-quar- 

1688. ters of a century — since the great revolution in England 

had restrained the hand of oppression — emigration had 

been gradually diminishing. 

Thus uninfluenced from without, the political and re- 
ligious principles with which they were imbued had time 
to produce their fruit. A national sentiment, a oneness 
of feeling among the people, grew into vigorous being. 
The common schools of New England had exerted their 
undivided influence for almost three generations; the 
youth left them with that conscious self-reliance which 
springs spontaneously in the intelligent mind — a pledge 
of success in things great as well as small. These schools, 
no doubt, gave an impulse to female education. In the 
earlier days of New England the women were taught to 
read, but very few to write. " The legal papers executed 
in the first century (of the colony) by well-to-do women, 
were mostly signed by a mark, (X) ".* The custom of 

1 Elliott's History of New England, vol. i., p. 428. 


settling in townships or villages made it easy to support chap. 
common schools. - 

In the middle colonies, especially Pennsylvania and 1760, 
New York, a system of general education had not been 
introduced; the diversity of sects prevented. In the 
South, except partially in Maryland, common schools 
were not adopted. The owners of slaves usually held 
large tracts of the best lands, while the less wealthy were 
compelled to retire to the outskirts of the settlements, 
where they could obtain farms. The population was 
thus so much scattered, that generally children could not 
be concentrated at particular places in sufficient numbers 
to sustain schools. Those who, for want of means, could 
not employ private teachers, taught their own children r 
best they could. Among this class, from year to yea 
there was but little increase in general intelligence. The 
wealthy employed private instructors, or sent their chil- 
dren abroad. As the nation increased in knowledge, the 
people cherished the right to exercise free thought and 
free speech. 

Our ancestors lived not for themselves alone. With 
the prophet's vision, and the patriot's hope, they looked 
forward to the day, when all this continent would be un- 
der the influence of their descendants, and they a Chris- 
tian people. Was it strange they were self-denying and 
in earnest, in endeavoring to spread the blessings of 
education and religion, as the greatest boon they could 
transmit to their posterity? Thus they labored to found 
institutions of learning; they encouraged the free ex- 
pression of opinion. From the religious freedom of con- 
science, which they proclaimed as the doctrine of the 
Bible, the transition was easy to political freedom. The 
advocate of free inquiry became the advocate of civil lib- 
erty, and the same stroke which broke the chain binding 
the word of God to the interpretation of the church, shat- 
tered the fetters binding the political slave. 



chap. Much of this sentiment may be traced to the influence 
exerted by the opinions of one man, John Calvin. " We 
boast of our common schools, Calvin was the father of 
popular education, the inventor of free schools. The pil- 
grims of Plymouth were Calvinists; the best influence of 
South Carolina came from the Calvinists of France. Wil- 
liam Penn was the disciple of the Huguenots; the ships 
from Holland that first brought colonists to Manhattan 
were filled with Calvinists. He that will not honor the 
memory and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but 
little of the origin of American liberty. He bequeathed 
to the world a republican spirit in religion, with the kin- 
dred principles of republican liberty/ 7 * 

There were slight differences of character between the 
people of the several colonies. In the eastern, the diffi- 
culties arising from a sterile soil had made the people 
industrious and frugal. There, labor was always honor- 
able, and when the day came "which tried men's souls/' 
great numbers of the prominent men came from the ranks 
of manual labor. The Anglo-Saxon element greatly pre- 
dominated among the colonists of New England. As 
simple in manners as rigid in morals, a truly democratic 
spirit and love of liberty pervaded their minds, and hence 
political constitutions of whose benefits all were partici- 
pants. The Norman element prevailed more in the South, 
especially in Virginia. Here the wealthy colonists were 
more aristocratic in spirit and feeling; were more refined 
and elegant in manners. This aristocratic spirit was fos- 
tered, in time, by the system of slavery, while the dis- 
tinctions in society arising from the possession of wealth 
were greatly increased. In all the southern colonies, the 
mildness of the climate, the labor of slaves, and the ready 
sale of their tobacco, rice, and indigo, made the acquisi- 
tion of wealth comparatively easy. The planter, " having 

1 Bancroft's Miscellanies, pp. 405-6 


more leisure, was more given to pleasures and amuse- chap. 

ments — to the sports of the turf, the cock-pit, the chase, - 

and the gaming-table. His social habits often made him 17 
profuse, and plunged him in debt to the English or Scotch 
merchant, who sold his exported products and furnished 
him his foreign supplies. He was often improvident, and 
sometimes not punctual in his pecuniary engagements." * 
The planters were hospitable. Living upon isolated plan- 
tations, they were in a measure deprived of social inter- 
course; but when opportunity served, they enjoyed it 
with a relish. As the Southerner was hospitable, so the 
Northerner was charitable. From the hard earnings of 
the farmer, of the mechanic, of the merchant, of the 
seafaring man, funds were cheerfully given to support 
schools, to endow colleges, or to sustain the ordinances 
of the gospel. In the South, colleges were principally 
endowed by royal grants. 

In Pennsylvania was felt the benign influence of the 
disciples of George Fox, and its benevolent founder. The 
friends of suffering humanity, the enemies of war, the 
opponents of classes and ranks in society founded on mere 
birth, they recognized merit wherever found. There the 
human mind was untrammelled — conscious of a right 
derived from a higher authority than conventional law; 
there public posts were open to all — no tests intervened 
as a barrier. At this time the ardent aspirations of Ben- 
jamin Franklin in the pursuit of science received the 
sympathy of the people. In Philadelphia he was the 
means of founding an academy and free school, which 
grew into a university. Here was founded the first medi- 
cal college in the colonies, the first public library, and the 
first hospital. Here, Bartram, the botanist, founded the 
first botanic garden ; and here was formed the American 
Philosophical Society. Here lived Godfrey, the inventor 
of the quadrant, which bears the name of Hadley. 

1 Tucker's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 97. 


chap. In New York, "the key of Canada and the lakes," 


- were blended many elements of character. Here com- 

1760. merce began to prevail, and here the arbitrary laws of the 
Board of Trade were vigorously opposed, and so often 
eluded, that Holland derived more benefit from the trade 
than England herself. It cost nearly as much as the 
amount of the import duties to maintain the cruisers and 
the "Commissioners of Customs." The "Dutch Repub- 
licans" had been for nearly a century pupils in the school 
where the "rights of Englishmen" were taught; they 
profited so much by the instruction, that they paid very 
little attention to the king's prerogative, and thought 
their own Legislature quite as respectable as the House of 

Although the great majority of the Americans were 
the descendants of Englishmen, yet there were represent- 
atives from Scotland, from Ireland, from Wales, from 
France, from Holland, from Germany, from Sweden, and 
from Denmark. In religion, there were Churchmen and 
Dissenters, Quakers and Catholics. Though they differed 
in many minor points, and indulged in those little ani- 
mosities which unfortunately too often arise between peo- 
ple of different nations and religions, yet they cherished a 
sympathy for each other. They were all attached to the 
mother country — the South, perhaps, more than the 
North; the former had not experienced so severely the 
iron hand of royal rule. Some strong external pressure 
was required to bind them more closely together, if ever 
they were to become an independent nation. That exter- 
nal pressure was not long wanting. 




Restrictions of Trade and Manufactures. — Taxes imposed by Parlia- 
ment. — Writs of Assistance. — James Otis. — Samuel Adams. — 
The "Parsons'" Case in Virginia. — Patrick Henry. — A Stamp 
Tax threatened. — Colonel Barre's Speech. — The Stamp Act. — 
Excitement in the Colonies. — Henry in the House of Burgesses. 
— Resolutions not to use Stamps. — "Sons of Liberty." — A Call 
for a Congress; it meets, and the Colonial Assemblies approve 
its Measures. — Merchants refuse to purchase English Merchan- 
dise. — Self-denial of the Colonists. — Pitt defends them. — Frank- 
lin at the Bar of the House of Commons. — Stamp Act repealed. 
— Rejoicings. — Dartmouth College. 

The industrious habits of the colonists were no less wor- <^ p - 
thy of notice than their moral traits. The contest with 
the mother country had its origin in her attempts to de- 
prive them, by means of unjust laws, of the fruits of their 
labor. For one hundred years she had been imposing 
restrictions on their trade and domestic manufactures. 
They were treated as dependents, and inferiors who 
occupied " settlements established in distant parts of the 
world for the benefit of trade." They could purchase 
from England alone, and only to her market could they 
send their products. That English merchants might 
grow rich at their expense, the products of Europe and 
Asia were first to be landed in England, and then re- 
shipped to America in British vessels. The only trade 
not thus taxed, was that of negroes, they being shipped 
directly from Africa — a trade against which all the colo- 
nies earnestly, but in vain, protested. Even the trees 





chap, in the forest suitable for masts were claimed by the 
king, and marked by his "Surveyor-General of Woods." 
" Rolling mills, forges, or tilt-hammers for making iron," 
were prohibited as " nuisances." The House of Commons 
said " that the erection of manufactories in the colonies 
tended to lessen their dependency upon Great Britain;" 
and the English ship-carpenters complained " that their 
trade was hurt, and their workmen emigrated, since so 
many vessels were built in New England." The hatter, 
because he could obtain his fur from the Indians without 
sending to England, was not permitted to sell hats out of 
his own colony. No manufacturer was permitted to have 
more than two apprentices. The government was unwil- 
ling that the colonists should make for themselves a sin- 
gle article which the English could supply. 

These measures aroused a spirit of opposition, more 
especially among the frugal and industrious inhabitants 
of New England, whose manufactures, fisheries, and trade 
were almost ruined. There the people naturally agreed 
to buy of British manufacturers only what was absolutely 
necessary ; rather than pay the English merchant exorbi- 
tant prices, they would deprive themselves of every lux- 
ury. Families determined to make their own linens and 
woollens, and to abstain from eating mutton, and pre- 
serve the sheep to furnish wool. It became fashionable, as 
well as honorable, to wear homespun. Associations were 
formed to promote domestic manufactures. On the anni- 
versary of one of these, more than three hundred young 
women met on Boston Common, and devoted the day to 
spinning flax. The graduating class of Harvard College, 
not to be outdone in patriotism, made it a point on Com- 
mencement Day to be clad in homespun. Restrictions on 
trade did not affect the interests of the people of the South 
so much, as England could not dispense with their tobacco, 
rice, and indigo, and they had scarcely any manufactories. 

1763. Before the close of the French war, it was intimated 


that England intended to tax the colonies, and make chap. 


them bear a portion of the burdens brought upon herself - 

by the mismanagement of her officials. Many plans were 1763, 
discussed and laid aside. Meantime the colonists denied 
the right of Parliament to tax them without granting 
them, in some form, representation in the government; 
they claimed a voice in the disposal of their money. They 
looked back upon their history, and were unable to dis- 
cover the obligations they owed the king. They loved to 
think of Old England as the "home" of their fathers; 
they rejoiced in her glories and successes, and never 
dreamed of separating from her, until driven to that re- 
solve by oppression. Yet visions of greatness, and it may 
be of independence, were floating through the minds of 
the far-seeing. John Adams, when a youth, had already 
written : " It looks likely to me, for if we can remove the 
turbulent Gallicks, our people, according to the exactest 
computations, will in another century become more nu- 
merous than England itself. Should this be the case, 
since we have, I may say, all the naval stores of the na- 
tion in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of 
the seas ; and then the united force of all Europe will not 
be able to subdue us." * 

A special effort was now made to enforce the naviga- 
tion laws, and to prevent the colonists from trading with 
other nations. This policy would have converted the en- 
tire people into a nation of smugglers and law-breakers, 
but for the strong religious influences felt throughout the 

To enforce these laws, Parliament gave authority for 
using general search warrants, or "Writs of Assistance." 1761. 
These Writs authorized any sheriff or officer of the 
customs to enter a store or private dwelling, and search 
for foreign merchandise, which he suspected had not paid 

1 Life and Writings, vol. i., p. 23. 


chap. duty. The quiet of the domestic fireside was no longer 

- to be held sacred. These Writs, first used in Massa- 

1761, chusetts, caused great excitement and opposition. Their 
legality was soon brought to the test in a court of justice. 
On this occasion the eloquent James Otis sounded the 
note of alarm. He was the Advocate for the Admiralty, 
whose duty it was to argue in favor of the Writs ; but he 
resigned, in order to plead the cause of the people. The 
royalist lawyer contended that the power of Parliament 
was supreme, and that good subjects ought to submit to 
Fe* u its every enactment. In reply, Otis exclaimed : " To my 
dying day, I will oppose, with all the power and faculties 
God has given me, all such instruments of slavery, on the 
one hand, and villany on the other/' His stirring elo- 
quence gave an impulse to public opinion, which aroused 
opposition to other acts of Parliament. "Then and 
there," says John Adams, "was the first opposition to 
arbitrary acts of Great Britain. Then and there Ameri- 
can Independence was born." The writs were scarcely 
ever enforced after this trial. 

Of the leading men of the times, none had greater in- 
fluence than Samuel Adams — in his private life, the 
devout Christian; in his public life, the incorruptible 
patriot. In him the spirit of the old Puritans seemed to 
linger: mild in manners, living from choice in retire- 
ment, incapable of an emotion of fear, when duty called 
him to a post of danger. Learned in constitutional law, 
he never went beyond its limits. Through his influence 
Boston expressed her opinions, saying, " We claim Brit- 
ish rights, not by charter only — we are born to them. If 
we are taxed without our consent, our property is taken 
without our consent, and then we are no more freemen, 
but slaves." And she invited all the colonies to join in 
obtaining redress. The same note of alarm was sounded 
in Virginia, in New York, in Connecticut, and in the 
Carolinas. Thinking minds saw in the future the coming 


contest; that the English ministry would persist in their chap. 

unjust treatment, until, in self-defence, they had driven '- 

the whole American people to open rebellion. "They 1761, 
wish to make us dependent, but they will make us inde- 
pendent; these oppressions will lead us to unite and thus 
secure our liberty." Thus wrote Richard Henry Lee, of 
Virginia. "Oh! poor New England/' exclaimed the elo- 
quent George Whitefield, "there is a deep-laid plot 
against your liberties; your golden days are ended." 

The first collision in Virginia between the prerogative 1763. 
of the king and the authority of the legislature occurred ec 
in a county court. Tobacco was the legalized currency 
of the colony. Occasionally, untoward events, such as 
war, or failure of the crop, made payments in tobacco 
very burdensome. The legislature passed a law, author- 
izing debtors to pay their public dues in money, at the 
rate of twopence a pound for the tobacco due. The cler- 
gymen of the established church refused to acquiesce in 
the law; they had a fixed salary of a certain number of 
pounds of tobacco a year. At their instance, Sherlock, 
the Bishop of London, used his influence and persuaded 
the king to refuse his signature to this law. " The rights 
of the clergy and the authority of the king must stand or 
fall together," said the Bishop. The law was therefore 
null and void. 

To test it, a clergyman named Maury brought a suit 
to recover damages, or the difference" between twopence 
per pound and the higher price for which tobacco was 
selling. It became the cause of the people on the one 
side, and the cause of the clergy and of the king's pre- 
rogative on the other. The people engaged a young man 
of twenty-seven to plead against the "parsons." 

That young man was Patrick Henry. He belonged 
not to the aristocracy, and was obscure and unknown. 
On this occasion, that rare and wonderful gift of elo- 
quence, which has made us so familiar with his name, 



chap, was first displayed. He possessed a charm of voice and 
tone that fascinated his hearers; a grasp of thought, a 
vividness of conception, and withal a power that allured 
into sympathy with his own sentiments the emotions of 
his audience. For this he was indebted to nature, not to 
education; for, when a boy, he broke away from the re- 
straints of school and the drudgery of book-learning, to 
lounge idly by some solitary brookside with hook and 
line, or in more active moods to dash away into the woods 
to enjoy the excitements of the chase. He learned a 
little of Latin, of Greek not more than the letters, and as 
little of mathematics. At eighteen he married, engaged 
in trade, and failed; tried farming with as little success; 
then read law six weeks, and was admitted to the bar. 
Yet the mind of this young man had not been idle; he 
lived in a world of deep thought; he studied men. He 
was now to appear for the first time as an advocate. 

The whole colony was interested in the trial, and the 
court-room was crowded with anxious spectators. Maury 
made objections to the jury; he thought them of "the 
vulgar herd," "dissenters/' and "New Lights." "They 
are honest men," rejoined Henry. The court overruled 
the insulting objections, and the jury were sworn. 

The case was plainly against him, but Henry con- 
tended the law was valid, and enacted by competent au- 
thority; he fell back upon the natural right of Virginia 
to make her own laws, independently of the king and 
parliament. He proved the justness of the law; he 
sketched the character of a good king, as the father of his 
people, but who, when he annuls good laws becomes a 
tyrant, and forfeits all right to obedience. At this doc- 
trine, so new, so daring, the audience seemed to stand 
aghast. " He has spoken treason," exclaimed the oppos- 
ing counsel. A few joined in the cry of Treason! treason ! 
Yet the jury brought in a verdict for the "parsons" of a 
penny damages. 


Henry denied the right of the king to aid in making chap. 

laws for the colonies. His argument applied not only to - 

Virginia, but to the continent. The sentiment spread 
from colony to colony. 

Parliament assumed the right to tax the Americans, 
and paid no attention to their protests, but characterized 
them as "absurd," "insolent," "mad." When they ex- 
postulated with Grenville, the Prime Minister, he warned 
them that in a contest with England they would gain 
nothing. The taxes must be levied at all events; and 
he graciously asked if there was any form in which they 
would rather pay them than by means of the threatened 
stamps. These were to be affixed to all documents used 
in trade, and for them a certain impost duty was charged. 
Only the English merchants whose interests were involved 
in the American trade, appear to have sympathized with 
the colonists. Franklin, who was then in London as agent 
for the Assembly of Pennsylvania, wrote home : " Every 
man in England regards himself as a piece of a sovereign 
over America, seems to jostle himself into the throne with 
the king, and talks of our subjects in the colonies." 

The Stamp Act did not pass without a struggle. Dur- 1765 
ing these discussions, Colonel Barre, who, in the war 
against the French, was the friend and companion of 
Wolfe, charged the members of the House of Commons 
with being ignorant of the true state of the colonies- 
When Charles Townshencl, the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, asked the question, "Will our American chil- 
dren, planted by our care, nourished by our indulgence, 
and protected by our arms, grudge to contribute their 
mite to relieve us from our burdens? " Barre indignantly 
replied: "They planted by your care! No, your oppres- 
sions planted them in America. They fled from your 
tyranny to an uncultivated, inhospitable country; where 
they exposed themselves to almost every hardship, and to 
the cruelties of the savage foe. They nourished by your in- 


chap, diligence! They grew by your neglect; your care for them 
xxv ' was to send persons to rule them; deputies of deputies, to 
1765. some members of this house, sent to spy out their liberties, 
to misrepresent their actions, and to prey upon them ; men 
who have caused the blood of those sons of liberty to re- 
coil within them. They protected by your arms! They 
have nobly taken up arms in your defence. Amidst their 
constant and laborious industry they have defended a 
country whose frontiers were drenched in blood, while its 
interior settlements yielded all their little savings to your 
emoluments. I speak the genuine sentiments of my heart. 
They are a people as truly loyal as any subjects of the 
king; they are jealous of their liberties, and will vindicate 
them, if ever they should be violated." 

But very few of the members of the house were thus 
liberal in their sentiments. The great majority looked 
upon the colonies as subservient to the rule of the 
mother country. It was the express intention of the 
ministry "to be very tender in taxing them, beginning 
with small duties and taxes," and advancing as they 
found them willing to bear it. 

The House of Commons, on March 22d, passed the 
Stamp Act by a majority of nine to one; ten days after- 
ward it passed the House of Lords almost unanimously. 
The king was ill; mystery whispered of some unusual 
disease. When George III. signed the Stamp Act, he 
was not a responsible being — he was insane. 

This act declared that every written agreement be- 
tween persons in trade, to be valid, must have affixed to 
it one of these stamps. Their price was in proportion to 
the importance of the writing ; the lowest a shilling, and 
thence increasing indefinitely. Truly this "was to take 
money without an equivalent." All business must be 
thus taxed, or suspended. 

In order to enforce this act, Parliament, two months 
afterward, authorized the ministry to send as many 




troops as they saw proper to America. For these soldiers chap. 
the colonies were required to find "quarters, fuel, cider 
or rum, candles, and other necessaries." 

The news of the passage of these arbitrary laws threw 
the people into a ferment. They became acquainted with 
each other's views ; the subject was discussed in the news- 
papers, was noticed in the pulpits, and became the en- 
grossing topic of conversation in social intercourse. In the 
Virginia Assembly, Patrick Henry introduced resolutions 
declaring that the people of Virginia were only bound to 
pay taxes imposed by their own Legislature, and any 
person who maintained the contrary should be deemed 
an enemy of the colony. An exciting debate followed, in 
which the wonderful power of Henry in describing the 
tyranny of the British government swayed the majority 
of the members. In the midst of one of his bursts of elo- 
quence he exclaimed : " Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I. 
his Cromwell, and George III." — "Treason! treason!" May. 
shouted the Speaker, and a few others joined him in the 
cry. Henry fixed his eye upon the Speaker, and in the 
tone and emphasis peculiar to himself, continued, " may 
profit by their example. If that be treason, make the most 
of it." The resolutions passed, but the next morning, 
in Henry's absence, the timid in the Assembly rescinded 
the last, and modified the others. The governor immedi- 
ately dissolved the house for this free expression of opin- 
ion. Meantime, a manuscript copy of the resolutions 
was on its way to Philadelphia, where they were speedily 
printed and sent throughout the country. They raised 
the drooping spirits of the people, who determined to 
neutralize the law — they would never use the stamps. 

The Legislature of Massachusetts resolved that the 
courts should conduct their business without their use. 
Colden, the royalist governor of New York, thought 
"that the presence of a battalion would prevent mis- 
chief:" but the council suggested, "it would be more 


chap, safe for the government to show a confidence in the peo- 



pie." "I will cram the stamps down their throats with 
my sword," said an officer. The churchmen preached 
obedience to the king — the "Lord's anointed." William 
Livingston answered, " The people are the ' Lord's anoint- 
ed,' though named 'mob and rabble' — the people are the 
darling of Providence." 

Colonel Barre, in his famous speech, characterized 
those in America who opposed British oppression, as 
" Sons of Liberty." He read them rightly; Sons of Lib- 
erty they were, and destined to be free ; they felt it ; they 
adopted the name, it became the watchword under 
which they rallied. Associations called by this name 
sprang up as if by magic, and in a few weeks spread from 
Massachusetts to Maryland. They would neither use 
stamps nor permit the distributers to remain in office. 

One morning the famous Liberty Tree in Boston was 
found decorated with the effigies of some of the friends of 
the English ministry. The mob compelled Oliver, the 
secretary of the colony, who had been appointed stamp 
distributer, to resign, and promise that he would not aid 

Aug. in their distribution. They also attacked the houses of 
some of the other officials. The patriots protested against 
these lawless proceedings. Five hundred Connecticut 
farmers came into Wethersfield and compelled Jared 
Ingersol, the stamp officer for that colony, to resign, and 
then take off his hat and give three cheers for " Liberty, 
Property, and no stamps." Such was the feeling, and 

Nov. such was the result, that when the day came, on which the 
1# law was to go into effect, not one stamp officer could be 
found — all had resigned. 

June. The General Court of Massachusetts issued a circular 
in June, inviting all the colonies to send delegates to a 
convention or Congress, to be held at New York, on the 
first Tuesday of the following October. Accordingly, on 



the day named delegates from nine of the colonies met at chap. 
the place appointed. - 

The idea of a union of the colonies dates as far back 1765, 
as the days of William Penn, who was the first to suggest 
it; but now the question was discussed by the various 
committees of correspondence. At a convention which 
met at Albany eleven years before this, Benjamin Frank- 1754. 
lin had proposed a plan of union. This was adopted and 
laid before the Assemblies of the colonies, and the Board 
of Trade, for ratification. It met with a singular fate. 
The Assemblies rejected it, because it was too aristocratic, 
and the Board of Trade because it was too democratic. 

The Congress met and spent three weeks in delibera- Oct. 
tion. They drew up a Declaration of Rights, a Memorial 
to both Houses of Parliament, and a Petition to the king. 
They claimed the right of being taxed only by their own 
representatives, premising, that because of the distance, 
and for other reasons, they could not be represented in 
the House of Commons, but in their own Assemblies. 
These documents were signed by nearly all the delegates, 
and transmitted to England. The colonial Assemblies, 
at their earliest days of meeting, gave to these proceed- 
ings of the Congress their cordial approval. Thus the 
Union was consummated, by which the colonies "be- 
came as a bundle of sticks which could neither be bent 
nor broken." While the Congress was in session, a ship 
with stamps on board, made its appearance in the bay. 
Placards were posted throughout the city, threatening 
those who should attempt to use them. " I am resolved 
to have the stamps distributed," said Colden, the gov- 
ernor. " Let us see who will dare to put the act into exe- 
cution," said the Sons of Liberty. 

On the last day of October all the royal governors, 
except the governor of Rhode Island, took the oath to 
carry into execution the Stamp Act. On the next day the 
law was to go into effect. But not a stamp was to be 


chap, seen; instead, in every colony the bells were tolled, and 

'- the flags lowered to half-mast — indications that the pas- 

1765# sage of this act was regarded as " the funeral of liberty." 
The merchants of New York, Boston, and Philadel- 
phia, agreed to send no orders to England for merchan- 
dise, to countermand those already sent, and to receive 
no goods on commission till the act was repealed. They 
were sustained by the people, who pledged themselves 
not to use the products of English manufacturers, but to 
encourage their own. Circulars were sent throughout the 
land inviting to harmonious action ; these were responded 
to with a hearty good-will. Luxuries were dispensed with, 
and homespun was more honorable than ever. 

The infatuated ministry, in view of this opposition, 
resolved to modify, not to repeal the law. It would de- 
tract from their dignity, to comply with the request of 
the colonists. " Sooner/' said one of them, " than make 
our colonies our allies, I would wish to see them returned 
to their primitive deserts/' 
1766. Infirm health had compelled Pitt to retire from active 
life. "My resolution is taken," said he, "and if I can 
crawl or be carried to London, I will deliver my mind and 
heart upon the state of America." When accused by 
Grenville of exciting sedition, "Sir," said he in reply, 
"I have been charged with giving birth to sedition in 
America. Sorry I am to have the liberty of speech in 
this house imputed as a crime. But the imputation will 
not deter me; it is a liberty I mean to exercise. The 
gentleman tells us that America is obstinate; that Amer- 
ica is almost in rebellion. I rejoice that America has re- 
sisted." The sentiment startled the house; he continued: 
" If they had submitted, they would have voluntarily be- 
come slaves. They have been driven to madness by injus- 
tice. My opinion is, that the Stamp Act should be re- 
pealed, absolutely, totally, immediately." The celebrated 


Edmund Burke, then a young man rising into notice, ad- chap. 
vocated the repeal with great eloquence. 

The House of Commons wished to inquire still further 
of the temper of the Americans before taking the vote. 
They accordingly called witnesses to their bar, among 
whom was Benjamin Franklin. His knowledge was the 
most perfect, and his testimony had the greatest effect 
upon their minds. He said the colonists could not pay 
for the stamps for want of gold and silver; that they had 
borne more than their share of expense in the last war, 
and that they were laboring under debts contracted by it; 
that they would soon supply themselves with domestic 
manufactures; that they had been well disposed toward 
the mother country, but recent laws were lessening their 
affection, and soon all commerce would be broken up, un- 
less those laws were repealed ; and finally, that they never 
would submit to taxes imposed by those who had no au- 
thority. The vote was taken, and the Stamp Act was Mar., 
repealed; not because it was unjust, but because it could 
not be enforced. The people of the English commercial 
cities manifested their joy ; bonfires were lighted, the ships 
displayed their gayest colors, and the city of London it- 
self was illuminated. Expresses were sent to the seaports, 
that the news might reach America as soon as possible. 

The rejoicings in the colonies were equally as great. 
In Boston, the bell nearest to the Liberty Tree was the 
first to ring ; soon gay flags and banners were flying from 
the shipping, from private dwellings, and from the steeples 
of the meeting-houses. Amidst the joy, the unfortunate 
were not forgotten, and those immured in the debtor's 
prison, were released by the contributions of their friends. 
The ministers, from their pulpits, offered thanksgiving in 
the name of the whole people, and the associations against 
importing merchandise from England were dissolved. 
New York, Virginia, and Maryland, each voted a statue 
to Pitt, who became more than ever a popular idol. 


chap. In the midst of these troubles the cause of education 
- and religion was not forgotten. The Rev. Eleazar Whee- 

1766, lock established at Lebanon, in Connecticut, a school to 
educate Indian boys, and train them as teachers for their 
own race. Success attended the effort. A grant of forty- 
four thousand acres of land induced him to remove the 
school to Hanover, New Hampshire. Under the name of 
Dartmouth, a charter as a college was granted it, by 

1769. Wentworth, the governor. The Earl of Dartmouth, a 
Methodist, a friend of John Wesley, aided it, was one of 
its trustees, and took charge of the funds contributed for 
it in England — hence the name. 

The establishment of this institution was one of the 
effects of the Great Revival. In the midst of the native 
forest of pines the work was commenced. The principal 
and his students dwelt in log-cabins, built by their own 



The English Ministry determine to obtain a Revenue. — Massachu- 
setts invites to harmonious Action. — The Romney and the 
Sloop Liberty. — A British Regiment at Boston. — Collision with 
the Citizens. — Articles of Association proposed by Washington. 
— The Tax upon Tea. — Whigs and Tories. — The Gaspe" cap- 
tured. — The King's Maxim. — The Resolutions not to receive the 
Tea. — Tea thrown into Boston Harbor. — Its Reception at other 
Places. — More oppressive Laws passed by Parliament. — Aid 
sent to Boston. — Gage's Difficulties. — Alexander Hamilton. — 
The Old Continental Congress. — The Organization; the first 
Prayer. — The "Declaration of Rights." — -The " American Asso- 
ciation." — The Papers issued by the Congress. — The Views of 
Pitt in relation to them. 

Lord Grenville, the head of the ministry, was dis- chap. 
missed, and the Marquis of Rockingham took his place. 
This ministry soon gave way, and another was appointed 
by the king, as the head of which was placed Pitt, who, 
in the mean time, had been created Earl of Chatham. 

The following year, during Pitt's absence, Charles 
Townshend, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced 
that he intended, at all risks, to derive a revenue from 1767. 
America, by imposing a duty upon certain articles, which 
the colonists received from abroad, such as wine, oil, 
paints, glass, paper, and lead colors, and especially upon 
tea, as they obtained it cheaper from Dutch smugglers 
than the English themselves. It was suggested to him 
So withdraw the army, and there would be no need of a 





ohap. tax. "I will hear nothing; on the subject" said he; "it 


is absolutely necessary to keep an army there." 

1767. j ne co ionists were startled by this news. They now 
remembered the fatal reservation in the repeal of the 
Stamp Act, that Parliament had the absolute right to tax 
them. "We will form a universal combination to eat 
nothing, to drink nothing, and wear nothing, imported 
from England," passed as a watchword from one colony 
to another, and very soon the non-importation associa- 
tions were again in vigor. " Courage, Americans; lib- 
erty, religion, and science are on the wing to these shores. 
The finger of God points out a mighty empire to your 
sons," said one of the lawyers of New York. " Send over 
an army and fleet, and reduce the dogs to reason," wrote 
one of the royal governors to the ministry. 

Suddenly the Romney, a man-of-war, appeared in the 
harbor of Boston. The question soon arose, Why is a ves- 
sel of war sent to our harbor? The people had resisted no 
law; they had only respectfully petitioned for redress, 
and resolved to dispense with the use of British goods, 
Since the arrival of the Romney, the haughty manner 
of the Commissioners of Customs toward the people had 
become intolerable. The Romney frequently impressed 
the New England seamen as they came into the harbor. 
One man thus impressed was forcibly rescued by his com- 
panions. These and similar outrages excited the bitterest 
animosity between the royal officials and the people. 

The Massachusetts Assembly issued a circular to the 
other Colonial Assemblies, inviting to harmonious action 
in obtaining redress. A few months afterward the minis- 

1768. try sent peremptory orders to the Assembly to rescind 
June, their circular. Through the influence of Otis and Samuel 

Adams, the Assembly refused to comply with the arbi- 
trary demand, but instead intimated that Parliament 
ought to repeal their offensive laws. Meantime the other 
Colonial Assemblies received the circular favorably, and 

^Ps rvcel (fi w/rt^om^ 


also encouraged Massachusetts in her resistance to ty- chap. 


ranny and injustice. 

At this crisis, under the pretence that she had made 1768, 
a false entry, the sloop Liberty, belonging to John Han- 
cock, one of the prominent leaders, was seized, and towed 
under the guns of the Romney. She was laden with Ma- 
deira wine, on which duties were demanded. The news 
soon spread, and a crowd collected, the more violent of 
whom attacked the houses of the Commissioners of Cus- 
toms, who were forced to fly for safety to Castle William 
in the harbor. Of these outbreaks of a few ignorant per- 
sons, the most exaggerated accounts were sent to Eng- 
land, and there it was resolved to send more soldiers, and 
make Massachusetts submit as a conquered country. 
Vengeance was to be especially taken on "the insolent 
town of Boston." As the Parliament had determined to 
send troops to the colonies, Bernard, the governor, re- 
quested Colonel Gage to bring a regiment from Halifax 
to Boston. On a quiet Sabbath, these troops were landed g ep t. 
under the cover of the guns of their vessels, their colors 
flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed, as if they had 
taken possession of an enemy's town. Neither the lead- 
ers of the people, nor the people themselves, were intimi- 
dated by this military demonstration. According to law, 
troops could be lodged in Boston, only when the barracks 
at the forts in the harbor were full. The Assembly refused 
the soldiers quarters, and the food and other necessaries 
which had been demanded. The royalists gravely thought 
the Bostonians "had come within a hair's-breadth of 
committing treason." Gage wrote, "It is of no use to 
argue in this country, where every man studies law." 
He would enforce obedience without delay. 

Boston was held as a conquered town ; sentinels were 
placed at the corners of the streets, and citizens, when 
passing to their ordinary business, were challenged ; even 
the sacred hours of the Sabbath were not free from the 


chap, din of drums. A collision finally took place, between a 

XXVI. . . 

- citizen and a soldier. This led to an affray between the 

M 7 rch s °ldiers an d some rope-makers. A few evenings after- 
2. ward a sentinel was assaulted; soldiers were sent to his 
aid, and they were stoned by the mob. At length a sol- 
dier fired upon their assailants; immediately six of his 
companions fired also. Three persons were killed and five 
wounded. The town was thrown into a state of great ex- 
citement; in an hour's time the alarm bells had brought 
thousands into the streets. The multitude was pacified, 
only for the time, by the assurance of Hutchinson, who 
was now governor, that in the morning justice should be 
done. The next morning the people demanded that the 
troops should be removed from the town to Castle Wil- 
liam; and that Captain Preston, who, it was said, had 
commanded his soldiers to fire, should be tried for mur- 
der. Both these requisitions were complied with. Cap- 
tain Preston and six of his men were arraigned for trial. 
John Adams and Josiah Quincy, both popular leaders, 
volunteered to defend them. They were acquitted by 
the jury of murder, but two of the soldiers were found 
guilty of manslaughter. 

The result of this trial had a good effect in England. 
Contrary to the slanders of their enemies, it showed that 
the Bostonians, in the midst of popular excitement, were 
actuated by principles of justice. Those citizens who had 
been thus killed were regarded in the colonies as martyrs 
of liberty. 

The Virginia Assembly passed resolutions as " bad as 
those of Massachusetts." The next day, the governor, 
Lord Boutetourte, dissolved the house for passing " the 
1769. abominable resolves." The members immediately held a 
M »y- meeting, at which Washington presented the resolutions, 
drawn up by himself and his friend George Mason. They' 
were a draft of articles of association, not to import from 
Great Britain merchandise that was taxed. "Such was 


their zeal against the slave-trade, they made a special chap. 

eovenant with one another not to import any slaves, nor 1 

purchase any imported." To these resolutions were 1769, 
signed the names of Patrick Henry, Washington, Jeffer- 
son, Richard Henry Lee, and, indeed, of all the members 
of the Assembly. Then they were sent throughout the 
colony for the signature of every man in it. 

The non-importation associations produced their 1770. 
effect, and Lord North, who was now prime minister, 
proposed to remove all the duties except that on tea. 
That was retained at the express command of the king, 
whose maxim was, " that there should be always one tax, 
at least, to keep up the right of taxing." This removed 
part of the difficulty, for which the colonists were thank- 
ful ; but they were still united in their determination not 
to import tea. For these concessions they were indebted 
to the clamors of those English merchants whose trade 
had been injured. For a year there was an apparent lull 
in the storm of popular feeling. 

Governor Hutchinson issued a proclamation for a day 
of thanksgiving; this he required the ministers to read 
from their pulpits on the following Sabbath. He thought 
to entrap them, by inserting a clause acknowledging grat- 
itude, " that civil and religious liberty were continued/ ' 
and " trade encouraged." But he sadly mistook the men. 
The ministers, with the exception of one, whose church 
the governor himself attended, refused to read the proc- 
lamation, but, on the contrary, agreed to " implore of Al- 
mighty God the restoration of lost liberties." 

The contest had continued so long that party lines 
began to be drawn. Those who favored the demands of 
the people, were called Whigs; those who sympathized 
with the government, were called Tories. These terms 
had been long in use in England, the former to designate 
the opposers of royalty; the latter its supporters. 

Scarcely a colony was exempt from outrages commit- 



chap, ted by those representing the royal authority. In New 
York the people, on what is now the Park, then known as 
the Fields, erected a liberty-pole. They were accustomed 
to assemble there and discuss the affairs of the colony. 
On a certain night, a party of the soldiers stationed in 
the fort cut down the pole. The people retaliated, and 

Jan. frequent quarrels and collisions occurred. Though these 
disturbances were not so violent as those in Massachu- 
setts, they had the effect of exciting in the people intense 
hatred of the soldiers, as the tools of tyranny. 

An armed vessel, the Gaspe, engaged in the revenue 
service, took her position in Narraganset Bay, and in an 
insulting and arbitrary manner enforced the customs. 
Sometimes she wantonly compelled the passing vessels 
and market boats to lower their colors as a token of re- 
spect; sometimes landed companies on the neighboring 
islands, and carried off hogs and sheep, and other provi- 
sions. The lieutenant in command was appealed to for his 
authority in thus acting. He referred the committee to 
the admiral, stationed at Boston. The admiral haughtily 
answered: "The lieutenant is fulfilling his duty; if any 
persons rescue a vessel from him, I will hang them as 
pirates." The bold sailors and citizens matured their 

1772. plans and executed them. The Providence packet, of a 
io 16 n & n t draught and a fast sailer, was passing up the bay. 
The Gaspe hailed. The packet paid no attention, but 
passed on. Immediately the Gaspe gave chase. The 
packet designedly ran into shoal water near the shore; 
the Gaspe followed, and was soon aground, — the tide go- 
ing out, left her fast. The following night a company of 
men went down in boats, boarded her, made prisoners 
of the crew, and burned the vessel. A large reward was 
offered for the perpetrators of this bold act ; though well 
known, not one was betrayed. 

The warehouses of the East India Company were filled 
with the "pernicious weed," and the company proposed 



to pay all its duties in England, and then export it at 
their own risk. This would remove the difficulty, as there 
would then be no collections of the duty in American 1772 
ports. But the king was unwilling to sacrifice his maxim, 
and Lord North seems to have been incapable of compre- 
hending, that the Americans refused to pay the duty on 
tea, not because it was great or small, but because they 
looked upon a tax thus imposed as unjust. He therefore 
virtually proposed to the company to pay three-fourths of 
the duty in England; to save the king's maxim, the gov- 
ernment would collect the other fourth, or three pence on 
a pound, in America. It was suggested to North, that 
the Americans would not purchase the tea on those con- 
ditions. He replied: "It is to no purpose the making 
objections, for the king will have it so. The king means 
to try the question with the Americans." 1773 

Meantime public opinion in the colonies was becoming 
more and more enlightened, and more and more decided. 
"We must have a convention of all the colonies," said 
Samuel Adams. And he sent forth circulars inviting 
them to assert their rights, when there was a prospect of 
success. He saw clearly that the king and Parliament 
were resolved to see whether the Americans would or 
would not acknowledge their supremacy. 

When the conditions became known on which tea was 
to be imported, the people took measures to prevent its 
being either landed or sold. In Philadelphia they held a 
meeting, and requested those to whom the tea was con- 
signed "to resign their appointments." They also de- 
nounced "as an enemy to his country," "whosoever shall 
aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or vending the tea." 
Similar meetings were held in Charleston and New York, 
and similar resolutions were passed. 

A ship, making a quick passage, arrived at Boston, 
with intelligence that several vessels laden with tea had 
sailed. Five thousand men immediately assembled to de- 


chap, liberate on the course to be pursued. On motion of 


Samuel Adams, they unanimously resolved to send the 

Nov tea back. "The only way to get rid of it," shouted 
3. some one in the crowd, " is to throw it overboard." Those 
to whom the tea had been consigned were invited to meet 
at Liberty Tree, and resign their appointments. Two of 
the consignees were sons of Governor Hutchinson, who, at 
that time, was peculiarly odious on account of his double- 
dealing. This had been brought to light by a number 
of his letters to persons in England. These letters had 
fallen into the hands of Dr. Franklin, who sent them to 
the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly. They dis- 
closed the fact, that nearly all the harsh measures directed 
against the colony, had been suggested by Hutchinson. 

According to law, a ship must unload within twenty 
days, or be seized for non-payment of duties. 

Presently a ship laden with tea came into the harbor. 
By order of the committee, it was moored at a certain 
wharf, and a company of twenty-five men volunteered to 
guard it. The owner promised to take the cargo back, if 
the governor would give his permit. Meantime came two 
other vessels ; they were ordered to anchor beside the first. 
The committee waited again upon the consignees, but 
their answer was unsatisfactory. When the committee 
made their report to the meeting, not a word was said; 
the assemblage silently broke up. The consignees were 
Nov. terribly alarmed. That silence was ominous. Hutchin- 
30 * son's two sons fled to the fort, to the protection of the 
regulars. The father went quietly out of town. His ob- 
ject was to gain time till the twenty days should ex- 
pire; then the ships would pass into the hands of the 
Commissioners of Customs, and the tea would be safe for 
his sons. 

Another meeting of the people was protracted till after 
dark; on the morrow the twentieth day would expire, 
and the tea would be placed beyond their reach. At 


length the owner of the vessel returned from his mission chap. 

to the governor, and reported that he would not give the - 

permit for the ships to leave the port. " This meeting," 1773 * 
announced Samuel Adams, " can do nothing more to save 
the country." 

Immediately a shout, somewhat like a war-whoop, 
arose from a band of forty or fifty " very dark complex- 
ioned men, dressed like Mohawks," who were around the 
door. This band moved hastily down to the wharf where 
lay the tea ships. Placing a guar J to protect them from Dec. 
spies, they went on board and took out three hundred and 18, 
forty-two chests, broke them open, and poured the tea 
into the water. In silence the crowd on shore witnessed 
the affair; when the work was accomplished, they quietly 
retired to their homes. Paul Revere set out immediately 
to carry the news to New York and Philadelphia. 

At New York, a tea ship was sent back with her Dec 
cargo; the captain was escorted out of the city by the 25, 
Committee of Vigilance, with banners flying and a band 
playing God save the king. Eighteen chests of tea, found 
concealed on board another vessel, were thrown into the 
dock. In Charleston tea was permitted to be landed, 
but was stowed in damp cellars, where it spoiled. The 
captain of the vessel bound for Philadelphia, when four 
miles below the city, learned that the citizens would not 
permit him to land his cargo ; he prudently returned to 
England. At Annapolis, a ship and its cargo were both 
burned ; the owner, to allay the excitement, himself ap- 
plying the torch. 

Meantime the various committees of correspondence 
were making preparations to hold a congress composed 
of representatives from all the colonies. Yet they said, 
and no doubt honestly, that "their old good-will and 
affection for the parent country were not totally lost." 
" If she returned to her former moderation and good hu- 
mor, their affection would revive." 


chap. When it became known in England that the auda- 

XXVI. . . . 

— - — - cious colonists would not even permit the tea to be landed, 
1774, the king and ministry determined to make their power 
felt; and especially to make an example of Boston. Ac- 
cordingly a bill was introduced and passed in Parliament, 
four to one, to close her port to all commerce, and to 
transfer the seat of government to Salem. Though her 
June, citizens offered remuneration for the tea destroyed, yet 
Massachusetts must be punished; made an example, to 
deter other outbreaks Parliament immediately passed a 
series of laws which violated her charter and took away 
her privileges. The Port Bill, it was complacently proph- 
esied, will make Boston submit; she will yet come as a 
penitent, and promise obedience to British laws. 

Parliament went still further, and passed other laws ; 
one for quartering soldiers, at the people's expense, on all 
the colonies, and another in connection with it, by which 
officers, who, in enforcing this particular law, should com- 
mit acts of violence, were to be taken to England, and 
tried there for the offence. This clause would encourage 
arbitrary acts, and render military and official insolence 
still more intolerable, To these was added another law, 
known as the Quebec act ; it granted unusual concessions 
to the Catholics of Canada — a stroke of policy, if war 
should occur between the colonies and the mother coun- 
try. This act revived much of the old Protestant feeling 
latent in the minds of the people. These laws, opposed 
by many in Parliament as unnecessary and tyrannical, ex- 
cited in America a deep feeling of indignation against the 
English government. 

Everywhere Boston met with sympathy. The town of 
Salem refused to accept the proffered boon of becoming 
the seat of government at the expense of her neighbor, 
and Marblehead offered her port, free of charge, to the 
merchants of Boston. In that city great distress was 
experienced; multitudes, who depended upon the daily 


labor they obtained from commerce, were out of employ- chap. 

merit, and their families suffered. The different colonies - 

sent to their aid provisions and money ; these were accom- 1774, 
panied by words of encouragement, to stand firm in the 
righteous cause. The ordinary necessaries of life came 
from their neighbors of New England. "The patriotic 
and generous people" of South Carolina sent them two 
hundred barrels of rice, and promised eight hundred more, 
but urged them "not to pay for an ounce of the tea." 
In North Carolina " two thousand pounds were raised by 
subscription" and sent. Virginia and Maryland vied 
with each other in the good work. Washington presided 
at a meeting of sympathizers, and subscribed himself fifty 
pounds ; and even the farmers on the western frontiers of 
the Old Dominion sent one hundred and thirty-seven bar- 
rels of flour. 

These patriots were determined "that the men of 
Boston, who were deprived of their daily labor, should not 
lose their daily bread, nor be compelled to change their 
residence for want." * 

Even the citizens of Quebec, French and English, by 
joint effort sent them more than a thousand bushels of 
wheat, while in London itself one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars were subscribed for their benefit. Notwith- 
standing all this distress no riot or outbreak occurred 
among the people. 

General Gage was now Commander-in-chief of the 
British army in America, and had been recently appointed 
governor, in place of Hutchinson. He was sadly at a loss 
how to manage the Bostonians. If they would only vio- 
late the law, he could exercise his civil as well as his mili- 
tary authority. They held meetings, from time to time, 
and freely discussed their public affairs. They were under 

1 Bancroft, vol. vii. ; p. 75. 


chap, the control of leaders who never lost their self-possession, 


- nor transcended their constitutional rights. The govern- 

1774 ' ment, thinking to avoid the evil, forbade them to hold 
such meetings, after a certain day. They evaded the law 
tl by convoking the meetings before that day, and keeping 
them alive." "Faneuil Hall was at times unable to hold 
them, and they swarmed from that revolutionary hive 
into Old South Church. The Liberty Tree became a rally- 
ing place for any popular movement, and a flag hoisted on 
it was saluted by all processions as the emblem of the pop- 
ular cause." * 

During this time, the people throughout the colonies 
held conventions and chose delegates to the General Con- 
gress about to meet at Philadelphia. One of these meet- 
ings, held in the " Fields" in New York, was addressed 
by a youth of seventeen. The stripling charmed his hear- 
ers by his fervor, as he grappled with the question and 
presented with clearness the main points at issue. When 
he closed, a whisper ran through the crowd, " It is a col- 
legian." The youth was Alexander Hamilton, a native 
of St. Kitts, of Scotch and French descent, his mother a 
Huguenot. The son combined the caution of the Scot 
with the vivacity of the Gaul. At an early age he lost 
his mother, whose memory he cherished with the greatest 
devotion. "A father's care he seems never to have 
known." At the age of twelve he was thrown upon the 
world to depend upon his own resources. He came to 
Boston, and thence to New York, where he found means 
to enter King's, since Columbia College. He had been 
known to the people simply as the West Indian, who 
walked under the trees in the college green, and uncon- 
scious of the observation of others, talked to himself. 
Henceforth a brilliant mind and untiring energies were to 
be consecrated to the welfare of the land that had adopted 
the orphan. 

1 Washington Irving. 


When the time came for the meeting of the General chap. 


Congress, known as the Old Continental Congress, fifty- 1 

five delegates assembled in the Carpenters' Hall, in the i 77 !' 
city of Philadelphia. Every colony was represented, ex- 5. 
cept Georgia. Martin, the royalist governor, had pre- 
vented delegates from being chosen. 

Here for the first time assembled the most eminent 
men of the colonies. They held in their hands, under the 
Great Disposer of all things, the destinies of a people num- 
bering nearly three millions. Here were names now sacred 
in the memories of Americans. George Washington, 
Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Edward and John 
Rutledge, Gadsden, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Roger 
Sherman, Philip Livingston, John Jay, William Living- 
ston, Dr. Witherspoon, President of Princeton College, a 
Scotch Presbyterian minister, who had come over some 
years before, but was said to be " as high a son of liberty 
as any man in America," and others of lesser note, but 
no less patriotism. They had corresponded with each 
other, and exchanged views on the subject of their coun- 
try's wrongs; they had sympathized as brethren, though 
many of them were to each other personally unknown. It 
was a momentous crisis, and they felt the responsibility 
of their position. 

The House was organized by electing the aged Peyton 
Randolph, of Virginia, Speaker, and Charles Thomson, of 
Pennsylvania, Secretary. A native of Ireland, when a 
youth he came to America. He was principal of the 
Quaker High School in Philadelphia, and was proverbial 
for his truth and honesty. 

It was suggested that it would be becoming to open 
their sessions with prayer. This proposition was thought 
by some to be inexpedient, since perhaps the delegates 
could not all join in the same form of worship. At length 
Samuel Adams, who was a strict Congregational ist, arose 
and said : " I will willingly join in prayer with any gen- 


chap, tleman of piety and virtue, whatever may be his cloth, 

— provided he is a friend of his country." On his motion, 

1774# the Rev. Mr. Duche, a popular Episcopal clergyman, of 
Philadelphia, was invited to officiate as chaplain. Mr. 
Duche accepted the invitation. A rumor, in the mean 
time, reached Philadelphia that General Gage had bom- 
barded Boston. When the Congress assembled the next 
morning, anxiety and sympathy were depicted on every 
countenance.- The rumor, though it proved to be false, 
excited feelings of brotherhood, hitherto unknown. 

The chaplain read the thirty-fifth psalm, and then, 
carried away by his emotions, burst forth into an extem- 
porary prayer to the Lord of Hosts to be their helper. 
"It seemed," says John Adams, in a letter to his wife, 
" as if Heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that 
morning. He prayed, in language eloquent and sublime > 
for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston. It 
has had an excellent effect upon everybody here." 

When the prayer was closed, a long and death-like 
silence ensued, as if each one hesitated " to open a busi- 
ness so momentous." At length Patrick Henry slowly 
arose, faltering at first, " as if borne down by the weight 
of his subject;" but the fires of his wonted eloquence be- 
gan to glow, as he recited the colonial wrongs already 
endured, and foretold those yet to come. " Rising, as he 
advanced, with the grandeur of his subject, and glowing 
at length with all the majesty and expectation of the 
occasion, his speech seemed more than that of mortal 
man." He inspired the entire Congress with his liberal 
sentiments; they found a response in every heart when 
he exclaimed: "British oppression has effaced the boun- 
daries of the several colonies; the distinctions between 
Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Eng- 
enders, are no more. 1 am not a Virginian, but an 
American." When he closed, the members were not 



merely astonished at his matchless eloquence, but the chap. 
importance of the subject had overwhelmed them. 

The Congress appointed a committee, which drew up 
a "Declaration of Rights. " In this they enumerated 
their natural rights to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and 
property; as British subjects, they claimed to participate 
in making their own laws; in imposing their own taxes; 
the right of trial by jury in the vicinage; of holding pub- 
lic meetings, and of petitioning for redress of grievances. 
They protested against a standing army in the colonies 
without their consent, and against eleven acts passed 
since the accession of George III., as violating the rights 
of the colonies. It was added, "To these grievous acts 
and measures Americans cannot submit." 

To obtain redress they resolved to enter upon peace- 
able measures. They agreed to form an " American Asso- 
ciation," in whose articles they pledged themselves not to 
trade with Great Britain or the West Indies, nor with 
those engaged in the slave-trade — which was especially 
denounced — not to use British goods or tea, and not to 
trade with any colony which would refuse to join the asso- 
ciation. Committees were to be appointed in the various 
districts to see that these articles were strictly carried into 

Elaborate papers were also issued, in which the views 
of the Congress were set forth still more fully. A petition 
to the king was written by John Dickinson, of Pennsylva- 
nia; he also wrote an Address to the people of Canada. 
The Memorial to the people of the colonies was written 
by Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, and the Address to 
the people of Great Britain by John Jay, of New York. 

Every measure was carefully discussed, and though on 
some points there was much diversity of opinion, yet, as 
Congress sat with closed doors, only the results of these 
discussions went forth to the country, embodied in resolu- 


chap, tions, and signed by the members. These papers attracted 

XXVI . . 

the attention of thinking men in England. Said Chat- 

1774, ham, "When your lordships look at the papers trans- 
mitted to us from America; when you consider their 
decency, firmness, and wisdom, you cannot but respect 
their cause, and wish to make it your own. For myself, 
I must avow, and I have studied the master states of the 
world, I know not the people, or senate, who, for solidity 
of reason, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, 
under such a complication of difficult circumstances, can 
stand in preference to the delegates of America assembled 
in General Congress at Philadelphia. The histories of 
Greece and Rome give us nothing to equal it, and all 
attempts to impose servitude upon such a mighty conti- 
nental nation, must be vain." 




The Spirit of the People. — Gage alarmed. — The People seize Guns 
and Ammunition. — The Massachusetts Provincial Congress; 
its Measures. — Parliament passes the Restraining Bill. — Con- 
flicts at Lexington and Concord. — Volunteers fly to Arms, and 
beleaguer Boston. — Stark. — Putnam. — Benedict Arnold. — 
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. — Capture of Ticon- 
deroga. — Lord Dunmore in Virginia. — Patrick Henry and the 
Independent Companies. — The News from Lexington rouses a 
Spirit of Resistance. — The second Continental Congress; it 
takes decisive Measures; adopts the Army before Boston, and 
appoints Washington Commander-in-chief. 

While Congress was yet in session, affairs began to wear chap. 
a serious aspect in and around Boston. The people were 
practising military exercises. Every village and district 
had its company of minute-men — men pledged to each 
other to be ready for action at a minute's warning. Eng- 
land soon furnished them an occasion. The ministry pro- 
hibited the exportation of military stores to America, and 
sent secret orders to the royal governors, to seize all the 
arms and gunpowder in the magazines. Gage complied 
with these orders. When it became known that he had 
secretly sent a company of soldiers by night, who had 
seized the powder in the arsenal at Charlestown, and con- 
veyed it to Castle William, the minute-men assembled at 
once. Their eagerness to go to the governor and compel 
him to restore it to the arsenal could scarcely be re- 

Ere long various rumors were rife in the country — that 
Boston was to be attacked; that the fleet was bombarding 



chap, it; that the soldiers were shooting down the citizens in its 


• streets. Thousands of the sturdy yeomanry of Massa- 

1774, chusetts and Connecticut credited these rumors; they 
left their farms and their shops, and hastened to the res- 
cue. Before they had advanced far they learned that the 
reports were untrue. General Gage was alarmed by this 
significant movement ; he did not apprehend its full im- 
port, neither did he rightly discern the signs of the times, 
nor read the spirit of the people; he was a soldier, and 
understood the power that lies in soldiers and fortifica- 
tions, but knew nothing of the power of free principles. 
He determined to fortify the neck which connects Boston, 
with the mainland, and place there a regiment, to cut off 
all communication between the people in the country and 
those in the town. 
1774 Intelligence of these proceedings spread rapidly 

Dec. through the land. The people took possession of the ar- 
senal at Charlestown, from which the powder had been 
removed. At Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, a company 
led by John Sullivan, afterward a major-general, cap- 
tured the fort, and carried off one hundred barrels of 
powder and some cannon. At Newport, in the absence of 
the men-of-war, forty-four pieces of a^tilJ^ry were seized 
and conveyed vo Providonce. In Conixecticat, the A^em- 
bly enjoined upon the towns to lay in a double supply of 
ammunition, to mount their cannon, and to train the 
militia frequently. This spirit was not confined to New 
England, but prevailed in the middle and southern colo- 
nies, where the people took energetic measures to put 
themselves in a posture of defence. 

In the midst of this commotion, Gage, thinking to 
conciliate, summoned the Massachusetts Assembly to 
Oct. meet at Salem; but, alarmed at the spirit manifested at 
5 - the town meetings in the province, he countermanded the 
order. The Assembly, however, met; and as no one ap- 
peared to administer the oaths, and open the session, the 


members adjourned to Concord, and there organized as a chap. 

Provincial Congress. They elected John Hancock Presi- - 

dent, and Benjamin Lincoln Secretary. Lincoln was a 
farmer, and afterward became an efficient major-general 
in the revolutionary army. This was the first provincial 
Assembly organized independently of royal authority. 

They sent an address to Gage, in which they com- 
plained of the recent acts of Parliament ; of his own high- 
handed measures; of his fortifying Boston Neck, and 
requested him to desist ; at the same time they protested 
their loyalty to the king, and their desire for peace and 
order. Gage replied that he was acting in self-defence, 
and admonished them to desist from their own unlawful 

The Assembly disregarded the admonition, went 
quietly to work, appointed two committees, one of safety, 
and the other of supplies, — the former was empowered to 
call out the minute-men, when it was necessary, and the 
latter to supply them with provisions of all kinds. They 
then appointed two general officers — Artemas Ward, one 
of the judges of the court, and Seth Pomeroy, a veteran 
of threescore and ten, who had seen service in the French 
war. They resolved to enlist twelve thousand minute- 
men, and invited the other New England colonies to in- 
crease the number to twenty thousand. The note of alarm 
was everywhere heard ; preparations for defence were 
everywhere apparent. In Virginia the militia companies 
burnished their arms and practised their exercises. Wash- 
ington, their highest military authority, was invited, and 
often visited different parts of the country, to inspect 
these volunteers on their review days. 

The attention of all was now turned to the new Par- 1775. 
liament about to assemble. To some extent, a change J i|P* 
had come over the minds of many of the English people; 
the religious sympathies of the Dissenters were specially 
enlisted in favor of the colonists. The papers issued by 


chap, the Continental Congress had been published and circu- 


- lated extensively in England, by the exertions of Frank- 

1775. jj n an( j others. Their plain, unvarnished statements of 
facts, and their claim for the colonists to enjoy British as 
well as natural rights, had elicited sympathy. 

Chatham, though much enfeebled, hurried up to Lon- 
don to plead once more for American rights. He brought 
in a bill, which he hoped would remove the difficulties; 
but the House spurned every scheme of reconciliation 
short of absolute submission on the part of the colonists # 
Lord North, urged on by his colleagues in the ministry, 
whom he had not strength of will to resist, went further 
than ever. The Boston Port Bill had not accomplished 
its design; and now he introduced what was termed the 
New England Restraining Bill, which deprived the people 
of those colonies of the privilege of fishing on the banks 
of Newfoundland. He declared Massachusetts was in 
rebellion, and the other colonies, by their associations, 
were aiding and abetting her. Parliament pledged itself 
to aid the king in maintaining his authority. 
Mar. The next month came intelligence to England, that 

the Colonial Assemblies had not only approved the reso- 
lutions of the Continental Congress, but had determined 
to support them. To punish them for this audacity, Par- 
liament passed a second Restraining Act, to apply to all 
the colonies except New York, Delaware, and North Car- 
olina. The object of this mark of favor signally failed; 
these colonies could not be bribed to desert their sisters. 

General Gage had learned, by means of spies, that at 
Concord, eighteen miles from Boston, the patriots had 
collected ammunition and military stores. These he de- 
termined to destroy. His preparations were made with 
the greatest secrecy; but the Sons of Liberty were vigi- 
lant. Dr. Warren, one of the committee of safety, noticed 
the unusual stir; the collection of boats at certain points; 


that the light infantry and grenadiers were taken off duty. chap. 

He sent information of what he had seen and suspected '- 

to John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were at Lex- 1775, 
ington. It was rightly surmised that Concord was the 
object of the intended expedition. It was to leave Boston 
on the night of the eighteenth of April; on that day April 
Gage issued orders forbidding any one to leave the town I8# 
after dark. Again the vigilance of Warren had antici- 
pated him. Before his order could go into effect, Paul 
Revere and William Dawes, two swift and trusty messen- 
gers, were on the way to the country, by different routes. 
A lantern held out from the steeple of the North Church — 
the concerted signal to the patriots in Charlestown — 
warned them that something imusual was going on. Mes- 
sengers from that place hurried to rouse the country. 

About ten o'clock, under cover of the darkness, eight 
or nine hundred men, light infantry and grenadiers, em- 
barked and crossed to Cambridge, and thence, with as 
little noise as possible, took up their line of march. To 
their surprise they heard in advance of them the tolling 
of bells, and the firing of alarm guns; evidently they 
were discovered. Lieutenant-colonel Smith sent back to 
Gage for reinforcements, and also ordered Major Pitcairn 
to press forward, and seize the two bridges at Concord. 
Pitcairn advanced rapidly and arrested every person he 
met or overtook, but a countryman, who evaded him, 
spurred on to Lexington, and gave the alarm. At dawn 
of day Pitcairn's division reached that place. Seventy 
or eighty minute-men, with some other persons, were on 
the green. They were uncertain as to the object of the 
British. It was thought they wished to arrest Hancock April 
and Adams, both of whom had left the place. Pitcairn 19 - 
ordered his men to halt and load their muskets; then 
riding up he cried out, — " Disperse, you rebels." " Down 
with your arms, you villains, and disperse," was echoed 
by his officers. Confusion ensued; random shots were 


chap, fired on both sides; then, by a volley from the British, 

seven men were killed and nine wounded. The Ameri- 

1775, cans dispersed, and the British soldiers gave three cheers 
for their victory! By whom the first shot was fired is 
uncertain. Each party charged it upon the other. Be 
that as it may, here was commenced the eight years' war 
of the revolution. 

Presently Colonel Smith came up, and in half an hour 
the entire body moved on toward Concord, six miles dis- 
tant. Information of the firing at Lexington had already 
reached that place. The minute-men were assembled 
on the green near the church. About seven o'clock the 
enemy appeared, in two divisions. The minute-men re- 
treated across a bridge to the top of a neighboring hill. 
The British placed a strong guard at the bridge, and 
spent two hours in destroying what stores they could find, 
as the greater part had been concealed, and pillaging some 
private dwellings. Meantime the little company on the 
hill increased rapidly, and soon it numbered about four 
hundred and fifty. They advanced upon the guard, who 
fired upon them, and skirmishing commenced. As the 
British began to retreat they were followed by an irregular 
and galling fire from behind trees, and fences, and houses. 
In vain they sent flanking-parties to free themselves from 
their assailants, who were increasing every minute; the 
nimble yeomanry would retire before these parties, only to 
appear at a more favorable point. Colonel Smith was se- 
verely wounded, and many of his men killed. He had con- 
sumed more than two hours in retreating to Lexington; 
there, fortunately for him, Lord Percy, who insultingly 
had marched out of Boston to the tune of Yankee Doodle, 
met him with a thousand men and two field-pieces. The 
fainting and exhausted troops were received in a hollow 
square, where they rested, while the fresh soldiers kept the 
indomitable "rebels" at bay with their field-pieces. 
While the enemy were thus halting, General Heath, 


whom the Massachusetts Provincial Congress had ap- chap. 


pointed to command the minute-men, came upon the . 

ground, and also Dr. Warren. They directed the Ameri- 1775# 
cans, whose attacks were now more in concert, but still 
irregular. The British set fire to dwellings in Lexington, 
then renewed their retreat, pillaging and burning as they 
went. The Americans, greatly exasperated, harassed 
them at every step. Lord Percy's condition became very 
critical. The country was roused; new assailants poured 
in from every side ; every moment he was more and more 
encumbered by the number of the wounded, while his am- 
munition was nearly exhausted. Had he been delayed an 
hour longer, his retreat would have been cut off by a pow- 
erful force from Marblehead and Salem. " If the retreat/ 7 
writes Washington, "had not been as precipitate as it 
was — and God knows it could not well have been more 
so — the ministerial troops must have surrendered, or been 
totally cut off." In this affair, about eighty of the Ameri- 
cans were killed or wounded, and of the British nearly 
three hundred. 

Intelligence of this conflict spread rapidly through the 
country; couriers hastened from colony to colony. In 
New England, volunteers flew to arms, and in ten days 
an irregular army completely blockaded the British in 
Boston, by a line of encampments, that extended from 
Roxbury to beyond Charlestown — a distance of nine 
miles. The fire of other days glowed in the breasts of the 
old campaigners of the French war, — none were more 
ready than they. John Stark, whom we have seen leading 
his men in that war, waited not for invitation nor commis- 
sion ; in ten minutes after he heard the news he was on his 
way. Israel Putnam, another name associated with deeds 
of daring in French and Indian warfare, was laboring in 
his field when the courier passed along. He left the work, 
mounted a horse, roused his neighbors, and, without 
changing his clothes, hastened to Boston. Putnam was 


chap, a native of Salem, Massachusetts, but for many years a 

- resident of Connecticut. Though now almost sixty years 

1775, of age, he was buoyant in spirits as a boy, impulsive and 
frank as he was fearless, and too generous to suspect 
others of guile. 

At this crisis, the Massachusetts Congress took ener- 
getic measures. A regiment of artillery was formed, the 
command of which was given to the aged Gridley, who, 
thirty years before, commanded the artillery at the taking 
of Louisburg. In the other colonies, the people were not 
inactive; they seized arms and ammunition wherever 
found, repudiated the royal authority, and each for itself 
called a Provincial Congress. 

It was suggested to the Massachusetts Committee of 
Safety to seize the two posts, Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point, on Lake Champlain, and thus secure the " key of 
Canada," as well as the cannon and other military stores 
there deposited. Benedict Arnold, who commanded a 
company in the camp before Boston, entered into the proj- 
ect with great ardor. Arnold was a man of impulsive 
temper, petulant, headstrong, and reckless of danger; he 
thirsted for an opportunity to distinguish himself. The 
Committee gave him the commission of colonel, with au- 
thority to raise men and accomplish the object. He 
learned that others were engaged in the same enterprise, 
and without waiting to enlist men, he set out immediately 
for Vermont. There he met the redoubtable Ethan Al- 
len — an original character — who from his very singulari- 
ties exerted a great influence over his companions. When 
he harangued them, as he often did, " his style, though a 
singular compound of local barbarisms, and scriptural 
phrases, and oriental wildhess, was highly animated and 
forcible." The territory now known as the State of Ver- 
mont, was claimed at this time by both New York and 
New Hampshire; but the inhabitants preferred to live 



under the rule of the latter, and formed combinations to chap. 


resist the authority of New York. Allen was the leader 1 

of "the Green Mountain Boys," as association formed 1775, 
for this purpose. 

These Green Mountain Boys, numbering about two 
hundred and seventy, with Allen at their head, were al- 
ready on their way to Ticonderoga. Within a few miles 
of the head of Lake Champlain, Arnold overtook them. 
By virtue of his commission as colonel, he ordered Allen 
to surrender the command into his hands. . Allen refused, 
nor would his men march under any other leader. It was 
finally arranged that Arnold should go as a volunteer, re- 
taining the rank of colonel without the command. The 
following night the party reached Shoreham, a point on 
the lake opposite Ticonderoga. At dawn of day, as they May 
had but few boats, only eighty-three men with Arnold 
and Allen had crossed over. 

They could delay no longer, lest they should be dis- 
covered, and Allen proposed to move on at once to the 
fort. Guided by a boy of the neighborhood, a brisk run 
up the hill soon brought them to the entrance. They 
secured the two sentinels, one of whom they compelled to 
show the way to the quarters of Captain Delaplace, the 
commandant. The vigorous knocks of Allen at his door 
soon roused him. When he appeared, half -a wake and 
half-dressed, Allen flourished his sword, and called upon 
him to surrender the fort. The commandant stammered 
out, "By whose authority do you act?" "In the name 
of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress," 
thundered Allen. This was a demonstration not to be 
resisted. The cheers of Allen's men had already roused 
the garrison, all of whom were taken prisoners. 

Two days later Seth Warner, Allen's lieutenant, with 
a detachment, took Crown Point. Arnold then obtained 
boats, pushed on, and captured St. John's in the Sorel. 
Altogether, sixty prisoners were taken, and what was far 


chap, more important, two hundred cannons and a large supply 

- of gunpowder. 


Two days after the affair at Lexington, Lord Dun- 
more, governor of Virginia, sent a company of marines, 

April who, in the night, entered the capital, Williamsburg, and 
20, carried off from the public arsenal about twenty barrels of 
powder, and conveyed them on board an armed schooner 
lying in James river. When the inhabitants learned the 
fact the next morning, they were greatly exasperated. 
Numbers flew to arms with the intention of recovering the 
powder. By the persuasions of the leading citizens, and of 
the council, they were restrained from acts of violence. 

The Council, however, addressed a remonstrance to 
the governor, who promised, verbally, to restore the pow- 
der when it should be needed. The people deemed his 
answer unsatisfactory. When intelligence came of the 
conflict at Concord, it flashed upon their minds that the 
seizure of the powder and munitions of war in the colo- 
nies was concerted by the royal governors, in accordance 
with instructions from the ministry. 

May Patrick Henry invited the independent companies of 

2 - the county of Hanover to meet him at a certain place on 
the second of May. They, seven hundred strong, obeyed 
the call. He made known why they were called together; 
spoke of the fight at Concord, and the occasion of it. 
Then, at their head, he marched towards Williamsburg, 
determined either to have the powder returned, or its 
value in money. On their way a messenger from the 
frightened governor met them, and tendered the money 
for the full value of the powder. The money was after- 
ward sent to Congress. 

The companies now disbanded, with the understand- 
ing that when called upon, they were to be ready to 
march at a minute's warning. Thus did Virginia emulate 


Dunmore, in the mean while, fled with his family on chap. 

. . XXVII. 

board a man-of-war, and thence issued one of his harm- 

less proclamations, in which he declared " a certain Pat- 1775, 
rick Henry and his associates to be in rebellion." 

A few days before he had said, " The whole country 
can easily be made a solitude;" and he threatened to 
declare freedom to the slaves, arm them, and lay Wil- 
liamsburg in ashes! 

As the news from Lexington and Concord reached the 
various portions of the colonies the people rose in opposi- 
tion. The whigs were indignant at the outrage, and the 
royalists censured Gage for his rash and harsh measures. 

In New York, the Sons of Liberty, with Robert Sears, 
the sturdy mechanic, at their head, seized eighty thou- 
sand pounds of flour, which was on board of sloops ready 
to be taken to Boston for the king's troops; they shut up 
the custom-house, and forbade vessels to leave the harbor 
for any colony of port which acknowledged British au- 
thority ; they secured the arms and ammunition belong- 
ing to the city, while the volunteers turned out and pa- 
raded the streets. The General Committee was dilatory; 
another was chosen * d 9ct with i^cr^ energy. A r -^icia- 
tiou Wu,o formea vv1xjv3 menx/™ v k;dged i . v/es, 
" under all ties of religion, honor, and love of country, to 
submit to committees and to Congress, to withhold sup- 
ples from the British troops, and, at the risk of lives and 
fortunes, to repel every attempt at enforcing taxation by 

Similar was the spirit manifested in the Jerseys. In 
Philadelphia, thousands of the citizens assembled and 
resolved, " To associate for the purpose of defending with 
arms, their lives, their property, and liberty." Thomas 
Mifflin, the warlike young Quaker, urged them in his 
speech, "not to be bold in declarations and cold in ac- 
tion." Military companies were formed in the neighbor- 


oh a p. ing counties, as well as in the city, who armed themselves 

and daily practised their exercises. 

1775. j n Maryland, Eden, the royalist governor, in order to 
conciliate, gave up to the people the arms and ammuni- 
tion of the province. 

In Charleston, the people at once distributed the 
twelve hundred stand of arms which they seized in the 
royal arsenal, while the Provincial Congress, with Henry 
Laurens, a Huguenot by descent, as their president, de- 
clared themselves " ready to sacrifice their lives and for- 
tunes to secure freedom and safety." The officers of the 
militia threw up their commissions from the governor, 
and declared themselves ready to submit to the authority 
of Congress. Regiments of infantry and rangers were im- 
mediately raised. 

Georgia, which had hitherto been lukewarm, now took 
decided ground. The people broke into the royal maga- 
zine, from which they took all the powder, five hundred 
pounds. The committee wrote words of encouragement 
and commendation to the people of Massachusetts, and 
sent them rice and specie. 

In North Carolina, as the news passed from place to 
place, it awakened the spirit of resistance to tyranny. 
The highlands along her western frontier were settled by 
Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent, " who were said to 
possess the impulsiveness of the Irishman with the dogged 
resolution of the Covenanter." A county convention was 
in session when the courier arrived. Fired with indigna- 
tion, the delegates resolved to throw off u the authority 
of the king and Parliament." Ephraim Brevard, u trained 
in the college at Princeton," and afterward a martyr in 
the cause, embodied their sentiments in resolutions, 
which declared : " All laws and commissions, confirmed by 
or derived from the authority of the king and Parliament 

May to be annulled and vacated." To maintain their rights, 
they also determined to form nine military companies, 


and to frame laws for the internal government of the chap. 


country. This was the famous Mecklenburg Declaration * 

of Independence. 

Such was the spirit that pervaded the minds of the 
entire people. Throughout the land free principles had 
laid the train — the spark was applied at Lexington. 

On the tenth of May the second Continental Congress May 
commenced its session at Philadelphia. They organized 
without changing the officers of the year before. In a 
few days, however, Peyton Randolph resigned the presi- 
dency to return to Virginia and preside over the Assem- 
bly, which had been called by the governor. 

Thomas Jefferson was sent to supply his place as a 
delegate, and John Hancock was elected president. Har- 
rison, of Virginia, in conducting him to the chair, said: 
"We will show Britain how much we value her pro- 
scriptions." For it was well known that Hancock and 
Samuel Adams were deemed rebels too great to be par- 

Dr. Franklin had returned only a few days before 
from England, where he had been for some years in the 
capacity of agent for some of the colonies. There his en- 
lightened statesmanship and far-seeing judgment had 
won the respect of liberal-minded Englishmen. He was 
at once chosen a delegate. Also, in addition to the mem- 
bers of the first Congress, appeared George Clinton and 
Robert R. Livingston, from New York. 

The members were encouraged, for the measures of 
the first Congress had been approved by the assemblies 
of all the colonies. 

The first General Congress met to protest and peti- 
tion; the second to assume authority and take decisive 
measures. Then the door was open for reconciliation 
with the mother country, now it was almost closed. The 
face of affairs was changed; blood had been wantonly 


chap, shed, and a beleaguering host of rustic soldiery were be- 

1 sieging the enemy. 

1775, Congress was imbued with the spirit of the time. In 
committee of the whole reports were called for on the 
state of the country. These disposed of, they passed to 
other matters; reviewed the events of the last year; in- 
vestigated the causes which led to the conflicts at Lexing- 
ton and Concord. The timid proposed to memorialize 
Parliament once more. No! argued John Adams, and 
many others; it is useless, we have been spurned from 
the throne, and our petitions treated with contempt; 
such a memorial would embarrass our proceedings, and 
have no influence upon Parliament. Yet another peti- 
tion was, in form, voted to the king, and while they de- 
nied any intention to cast off their allegiance, they pro- 
ceeded to put the colonies in a posture of defence. 

They formed a " Federal Union," by whose provisions 
each colony was to manage its own internal concerns ; but 
all measures pertaining to the whole community, such as 
treaties of peace or alliance, the regulation of commerce, 
or declaration of war, came under the jurisdiction of Con- 
gress. They recognized Him who holds in His hands the 
destinies of nations. They issued a proclamation for a 
day of solemn fasting and prayer. 

Congress now assumed the authority of the central 
power of the nation. They forbade persons, under any 
circumstances, to furnish provisions to the British navy 
or troops ; took measures to enlist an army and to build 
fortifications, and to procure arms and ammunition. To 
defray expenses, they issued "Bills of Credit," amount- 
ing to two millions of dollars, for whose redemption they 
pledged the faith of the "United Colonies." In accord- 
ance with the request of the Provincial Congress of Massa- 
chusetts, they adopted the volunteers in the camp before 
Boston, as the continental army. It remained to appoint 
a Commander-in-chief. On this subject there were diver- 


si ties of opinion. Some thought a New England army chap. 

would prefer a New England commander; others strove 

to appoint a commander acceptable to all sections of the 1775, 
country. The members of Congress acknowledged the 
military talents of Washington, and appreciated his lib- 
eral views as a statesman. As chairman of the committee 
on military affairs, he had suggested the majority of the 
rules for the army, and of the measures for defence. At 
this time came intimations in a private letter from Dr. 
Warren to Samuel Adams, that many leading men in 
Massachusetts desired his appointment as commander- 

Patrick Henry, when asked, on his return home from 
the first Congress, who of the members was the greatest 
man, had replied, " If you speak of eloquence, Mr. Rut- 
ledge, of South Carolina, is, by far, the greatest orator; 
but if you speak of solid information and sound judg- 
ment, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest 
man on that floor." 

John Adams took occasion to point out what, under 
the present circumstances, should be the qualifications of 
a commander-in-chief, and closed by remarking, that 
they knew a man who had these qualifications — " a mem- 
ber of this house from Virginia." He alluded to Washing- 
ton. A few days after, the army was regularly adopted, 
and the salary of the commander-in-chief fixed at five 
hundred dollars a month. That arranged, Mr. Johnson, 
of Maryland, nominated Washington for the office. The 
election was by ballot, and he was unanimously chosen. 
The next day the president of Congress formally an- June 
nounced to him his election. Washington rose in his seat 15 - 
and briefly expressed his gratitude for the unexpected 
honor, and his devotion to the cause. Then he added, " I 
beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in this 
room, that I this day declare, with the utmost sincerity, 


chap. I do not think myself equal to the command I am hon- 


- ored with/' Refusing any pay, he continued, "I will 

1775, keep an exact account of my expenses. Those, I doubt 
not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire." Con- 
gress resolved "to maintain and assist, and adhere to 
him with their lives and fortunes in the defence of 
American liberty." 



Battle of Bunker Hill. — Death of Warren. — Washington on his way 
to join the Army. — Generals Charles Lee and Schuyler. — State 
of Affairs in New York. — Sir William Johnson. — The Condition 
of the Army. — Nathaniel Greene. — Morgan and his Riflemen. — 
Wants of the Army. — Difficulties on Lake Champlain. — Expe- 
dition against Canada. — Richard Montgomery. — Allen's rash 
Adventure. — Montreal captured. — Arnold's toilsome March to 
Quebec. — That Place besieged. — Failure to storm the Town. — 
Death of Montgomery. — Arnold in his Icy-Fortress. 

For two months the armies in and around Boston had chap. 
watched each other. General Gage, in the mean time, XXVIIL 
had received large reinforcements. These were led by 1775. 
three commanders of reputation: Generals Howe, Bur- ^5 y 
goyne, and Henry Clinton. We may judge of the sur- 
prise of these generals to find the king's regulars " hemmed 
in by what they termed a rustic rout, with calico frocks 
and fowling-pieces." " What! " exclaimed Burgoyne, 
"ten thousand peasants keep five thousand king's troops 
shut up! Well, let us get in, and we'll soon find elbow- 
room." This vain boast was followed by no decided 
movement. Gage merely sent forth a proclamation, de- 
clared the province under martial law, and offered pardon 
to all the rebels who should return to their allegiance, ex- 
cept Samuel Adams and John Hancock. These "rebels" 
were placed beyond the pale of the king's mercy. 

The patriot soldiers, numbering about fifteen thou- 
sand, had come from their various towns, in independent 
companies, under their own leaders; their friends in their 


chap, respective towns supplied them with provisions. The 

. 'Massachusetts troops were under General Ward; John 

1775 - Stark led the New Hampshire volunteers; Putnam com- 
manded those from Connecticut, and Nathaniel Greene 
the regiment from Rhode Island. The artillery, consisting 
of nine pieces, was under the control of the venerable 
Colonel Gridley. The great majority of the soldiers were 
clad in their homespun working clothes; some had rifles 
and some had fowling-pieces. The British greatly exas- 
perated them by taunts and acts expressive of contempt. 
Opposed to the motley group of patriot soldiers, was a 
well-disciplined army of ten thousand men, under ex- 
perienced commanders. 

It was rumored that Gage intended to seize and 
fortify Bunker's Hill and Dorchester Heights — the one 
lying north and the other south of the town. In order 
to prevent this, some of the patriots proposed that they 
should take possession of the hill themselves. The more 
cautious were opposed to the enterprise, as extremely 
hazardous; it might provoke a general action, and they 
were deficient in ammunition and guns. But the fearless 
Putnam felt confident, with proper intrenchments, the 
patriots could not fail of success. "The Americans/' 
said he, "are never afraid of their heads, they only think 
of their legs; shelter them, and they will fight forever." 
It was reported that the enemy intended to seize Bunker 
Hill on the night of the eighteenth of June, and therefore 
not a moment was to be lost. On the evening of Friday 
16. the sixteenth, a company of about twelve hundred men, 
with their arms, and provisions for twenty-four hours, as- 
sembled on the common at Cambridge. Very few of them 
knew where they were going, but all knew that it was 
into danger. Prayer was offered by President Langdon, 
of Harvard College. About nine o'clock they commenced 
their march, under the command of Colonel William 
Prescott, a veteran of the French war; one in whom the 

From sUreojjraph, copyright, 1903, by Underwoo.l A Underwood, N. Y. 



soldiers had implicit confidence. Charlestown Neck was chap. 


strongly guarded, but they passed over it in safety, and ' 

were soon on the ground. Bunker Hill was designated in 1775 - 
the orders, but Breed's Hill, as it had a better command 
of the harbor, was fortified instead. The ground was 
speedily marked out, and about midnight the men com- 
menced their labors. Early daylight revealed to the aston- 
ished eyes of the British sailors in the harbor the strong 
redoubt that had sprung up so suddenly on the hill-top, 
and the Americans still busy at their work. Without 
waiting for orders, the sloop-of-war Lively opened her 
guns upon them; a floating battery and other ships did 
the same. The firing roused the people of Boston. Gage, 
through his spy-glass, noticed Prescott, who was on the 
parapet inspecting the works. " Who is that officer in 
command," he asked; "will he fight?" "He is an old 
soldier, and will fight to the last drop of his blood," re- 
plied one who knew Prescott well. " The works must 
be carried," remarked Gage. An hour later the plan of 
attack was decided upon by a council of war. 

From the heights the Americans saw and heard the 
bustle of preparation. Repeated messages were sent to 
General Ward for the promised reinforcements. Putnam 
hurried to Cambridge to urge the demand in person. 
Ward hesitated lest he should weaken the main division. 
It wa,s eleven o'clock before Stark and Reed, with their 
regiments, were ordered to the relief of Prescott, and the 
wearied soldiers, who had been laboring all night at the 

About noon, twenty-eight barges filled with soldiers, 
under the command of Generals Howe and Pigott, left 
Boston. The ships kept up an incessant cannonade to 
cover their landing. General Howe discovered that the 
works were stronger than he anticipated, and he sent to 
General Gage for reinforcements; his men, while waiting, 
were regaled with refreshments and "grog." Meantime 


di-iap. the Americans strengthened their works, and formed a 


L rustic breastwork; to do this, they pulled up a post-and- 

JT'A rail fence, placed it behind a stone fence, and filled the 
space between with new-mown grass. This extended 
down the side of the hill north of the redoubt to a swamp. 

Now they were cheered by the sight of Stark, who ap- 
peared with five hundred men. As he marched leisurely 
along, some one suggested a rapid movement. The vet- 
eran replied, "One fresh man in action is worth ten tired 
ones; " and he moved quietly on. A part of his force 
halted with Putnam at Bunker Hill, and a part joined 
Knowlton behind the fence breastwork. About two 
o'clock, Dr. Warren, who had recently been appointed 
major-general, but had not received his commission, ar- 
rived. He came, as did Pomeroy, to serve in the ranks. 
When Putnam pointed him to the redoubt, and said, 
"There you will be under cover," "Don't think," replied 
Warren, " that I seek a place of safety — where will the 
attack be the hottest?" Still pointing to the same spot 
Putnam answered: "That is the enemy's object; if that 
can be maintained the day is ours." When Warren en- 
tered the redoubt, the soldiers received him with hearty 
cheers. Prescott offered him the command, which he 
gracefully declined, saying: "I shall be happy to learn 
from a soldier of your experience." 

The day was clear and bright: the British, in their 
brilliant uniforms, presented a fine appearance. Thou- 
sands watched every movement from the house-tops in 
Boston and from the neighboring hills. Fathers, hus- 
bands, sons, and brothers were to meet the enemy, for 
the first time, in a regular battle. The expedition had 
commenced with prayer 'on Cambridge green, and now 
minister McClintock, of New Hampshire, was passing 
among the men praying and exhorting them to stand firm. 

About half-past two o'clock, the British, confident of 
an easy victory, advanced; one division, under General 


Pigott, marched up the hill to storm the redoubt in front, chap. 

while the other, under General Howe, advanced against the ' 

fence breastwork, in order to gain the rear and cut off the 1775 « 
retreat. The redoubt was commanded by Prescott. Stark, 
Knowlton, and Reed, with some of the New Hampshire 
and Connecticut men, were at the fence. As he saw the 
enemy advancing, Prescott, with his usual presence of 
mind, passed among his men and encouraged them. "The 
redcoats," said he, "will never reach the redoubt, if you 
will but withhold your fire till I give the order, and be 
careful not to shoot over their heads." The impetuous 
Putnam, who seems to have had no special command, was 
everywhere. "Wait till you see the whites of their eyes, 
aim at their waistbands, pick off the handsome coats, 
steady my lads," were his directions as he rode along the 
lines. "Wait for orders and fire low," was the policy 
that controlled the movements on Bunker Hill. 

The British, as they advanced, kept up an incessant 
discharge of musketry. Not a sound issued from the 
Americans. When Pigott's division came within forty 
paces, those in the redoubt levelled their guns for a mo- 
ment, then Prescott gave the word: "Fire!" Whole 
ranks were cut down. The enemy fell back, but urged on 
by their officers, again advanced. The Americans allowed 
them to come nearer than before, but received them more 
warmly. The carnage was dreadful; Pigott himself or- 
dered a retreat. At the same moment Howe's division 
was also retreating. The brave band who guarded the 
fence, had allowed him to advance within thirty paces, 
then had poured in their reserved fire with deadly effect. 
Both divisions retired down the hill to the shore. Gage 
had threatened that he would burn the town of Charles- 
town if the Americans should occupy the heights. The 
threat was now carried into execution by bombs thrown 
from the ships and Copp's Hill. The conflagration added 
new horrors to the scene. 




chap. The British resolved upon a second attack. This 
proved a counterpart of the first. By volleys discharged 
at the right moment, and with unerring aim, their whole 
force was driven back. Their officers labored to check 
them, even urged them on with their swords, but in vain, 
they retreated to the shore. "If we drive them back 
once more," exclaimed Prescott, " they cannot rally 
again." " We are ready for the redcoats again," was 
the response from the redoubt. 

General Clinton watched the movements from Copp's 
Hill. He witnessed the repulse of the " king's regulars " 
with astonishment; he hastened over as a volunteer with 
reinforcements. Some officers were opposed to another 
attack; they thought it little short of butchery to lead 
men in the face of such sharp-shooting. Now they learned 
that the ammunition of the Americans was nearly ex- 
hausted. They resolved to carry the redoubt at the point 
of the bayonet. The attack was to be specially directed 
against an open space which they had noticed between 
the breastwork and the fortified fence. The Americans 
used what little powder they had with great effect; they 
could pour in but a single volley upon the enemy; but 
by this a number of British officers were slain. The Brit- 
ish, however, advanced with fixed bayonets, and assailed 
the redoubt on three sides. The first who appeared on 
the parapet, as he cried out, " The day is ours," was shot 
down. Now followed a desperate encounter; those Amer- 
icans who had not bayonets fought with stones and the 
butts of their muskets. It was impossible to maintain the 
ground; Prescott gave the word, and they commenced an 
orderly retreat. The aged Pomeroy clubbed his musket 
and retreated with his face to the enemy. Stark, Knowl- 
ton, and Reed, kept their position at the fence till their 
companions had left the redoubt and passed down the 
hill, and thus prevented the enemy from cutting off the 
retreat; then they slowly retired. 


About three thousand British were engaged in this chap. 

battle, and about fifteen hundred Americans. The British - 

lost more than one thousand men, an unusual proportion 1775 - 
of whom were officers, among whom was Major Pitcairn, 
of Lexington memory; while the Americans lost but four 
hundred and fifty, but among these was Dr. Warren. He 
was one of the last to leave the redoubt; he had scarcely 
passed beyond it when he fell. On the morning of that 
day he had expressed himself willing, if necessary, to die 
for his country. — That country has embalmed his name 
as one of the bravest and noblest of her sons. 

The raw militia had met the British "regulars," and 
had proved themselves their equals; they left the field 
only when destitute of ammunition. 

The British ministry was not satisfied with this vic- 
tory, nor were the Americans discouraged by this defeat. 
When the news of the battle reached England, General 
Gage was at once recalled. When Washington learned 
of it from the courier who was hastening to Congress with 
the news, he exclaimed: "The liberties of the country 
are safe! " 

This famous battle took place on the seventeenth of 
June; on the twenty-first Washington, accompanied by 
Generals Lee and Schuyler, left Philadelphia to join the 
army as Commander-in-chief. General Charles Lee was 
an Englishman by birth; a soldier by profession, he had 
been engaged in campaigns in various parts of Europe, 
and in the French war. Frank in disposition, but sar- 
castic in manner, and evidently soured by disappoint- 
ment, he had resigned the British service, and for some 
reason indulged in feelings of bitter animosity to the 
English name. His connection with their cause was 
counted of great consequence by the Americans. 

General Philip Schuyler was a native of New York, 
of Dutch descent. As a man of wealth, position, educa- 
tion, and well-known integrity, he had great influence in 


chap, that province. He had some experience, also, in military 

. ! affairs; during the French war, when a youth of two and 

1775. twenty, he campaigned with Sir William Johnson and his 
Mohawks. Though in his native province the rich and 
influential were generally loyalists, from the beginning of 
the troubles Schuyler ardently espoused the cause of the 
colonists. He was versed in civil affairs, having been a 
member of the New York General Assembly, and recently 
a delegate to Congress, where his practical good sense had 
attracted attention. At this time, danger was appre- 
hended from the Mohawks, who lived in the northern and 
central parts of New York. It was feared that, influenced 
by the Johnson family, they would rally against the colo- 
nists. Sir William Johnson, of whom we have spoken, 
the ancestor of this family, was of Scotch-Irish descent, a 
man of vigorous mind but of coarse associations; he had 
acquired great influence over the Indians by adopting 
their customs, had married an Indian wife, sister of 
Brandt, the chief, afterward so famous. For nearly thirty 
years he was agent for the Five Nations; he became rich 
by traffic, and lived in his castle on the Mohawk river, in 
baronial style, with Scotch Highlanders as tenants. Sir 
William was dead, but his son and heir, John Johnson, 
and his son-in-law, Guy Johnson, were suspected of tam- 
pering with the Mohawks. No one knew the state of 
affairs in New York better than Schuyler; he was ac- 
quainted with the tory aristocracy; he understood the 
Johnsons, and to him Washington intrusted the charge 
of that province. 

As a singular incident it may be noted that as Wash- 
ington approached New York by way of New Jersey, the 
ship on board of which was the royalist governor Tryon, 
who was just returning from England, came into the 
harbor. The committee appointed to do the honors was 
somewhat perplexed. Fortunately their principles were 
not tested: these two men, the one the representative of 


the Continental Congress, the other of the king, did not chap. 

reach the city at the same time. The escort that received '. 

Washington, were at leisure, a few hours later, to render 1775 - 
to Governor Tryon the same honor. 

The Commander-in-chief was met at Springfield by 
the committee of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, 
and escorted to the camp. The greatest enthusiasm pre- 
vailed; the soldiers everywhere greeted him with hearty 
cheers. Such a welcome, while it gratified his feelings, 
was calculated to increase his sense of responsibility. A 
great work was before him — a work not yet begun; he 
was to bring order out of confusion; to lead on the cause 
of freedom to a successful issue. In his letters written 
about this time, he expresses a calm trust in a Divine 
Providence, that wisely orders all things. 

A personal survey of the army revealed more perfectly 
the difficulties to be overcome. It numbered about four- 
teen thousand men; to be effective, it must be increased 
to twenty or thirty thousand. The troops were unorgan- 
ized and undisciplined, without uniforms, poorly clad, and 
imperfectly armed. To discipline these volunteers would 
be no easy task; they could not be subjected to strict 
military rule. Even among this noble band of patriot 
officers were jealousies to be soothed, and prejudices to 
be regarded. Some felt that they had been overlooked 
or underrated in the appointments made by Congress. 

A council of war resolved to maintain the present line 
of works, to capture the British, or drive them out of 
Boston. Washington chose for his headquarters a cen- 
tral position at Cambridge; here were stationed Major- 
General Putnam and Brigadier-General Heath. General 
Artemas Ward was stationed with the right wing at Rox- 
bury, and General Charles Lee commanded the left on 
Prospect Hill. Under Lee were the Brigadier-Generals 
Greene and Sullivan, and under Ward the Generals 


chap. Spencer and Thomas. Of this number, Greene merits 

! special notice. His father a farmer, miller, and anchor 

1775. smith, as well as occasionally a Quaker preacher, endeav- 
ored to train his son in his own faith. The son's tastes were 
decidedly military. Of a genial disposition, he was fond 
of social amusements, but never at the expense of things 
more important. He cultivated his mind by reading the 
best English authors of the time on science and history; 
to do this he snatched the moments from daily toil. Indus- 
trious and strictly temperate, his perceptions were clear, 
and his love of order almost a passion. With zest he read 
books on military tactics, and before he had laid aside the 
Quaker costume, he took lessons in the science of military 
drill by watching the exercises and manoeuvres of the 
British troops on parade on Boston Common. Their order 
and precision had a charm for the embryo general. None 
took a deeper interest than he in the questions that agi- 
tated the country, and he was more than once chosen by 
the people to represent them in the Colonial Legislature. 
The army was now joined by some companies of rifle- 
men, mostly Scotch and Irish; backwoodsmen of Penn- 
sylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, enlisted by orders of 
Congress. They had marched six hundred miles in twenty 
days. If their peculiar dress, the hunting-shirt, and their 
motto, " Liberty or Death," worn on their head-band, 
their robust appearance, their stature, scarcely one of 
them being less than six feet, excited admiration, much 
more did their feats of sharp-shooting. " When advanc- 
ing at a quick step," it was said, "they could hit a mark 
of seven inches diameter at a distance of two hundred and 
fifty yards." Their leader, Daniel Morgan, was a native 
of New Jersey, though brought up on the frontiers of 
Virginia. When a youth his education had been neglect- 
ed; he could scarcely read or write; unpolished in his 
manners, generous in his impulses, honorable in his own 
feelings, he instinctively scorned meanness or duplicity in 


others. In his twentieth year, as a wagoner, he took his J££?i 

first lessons in warfare in Braddock's unfortunate cam- . 

paign. His character adapted itself to emergencies. 1775 - 
When left to act in responsible situations, his good 
sense was never at fault; wherever placed he performed 
well his part. 

As soon as he obtained the requisite information, 
Washington laid before Congress the state of the army, 
with suggestions as to the best means to furnish it with 
provisions, munitions, and men. He also suggested that 
diversities of uniform had a tendency to encourage sec- 
tional feelings, and recommended Congress to provide at 
least ten thousand hunting-shirts, adding, "I know noth- 
ing in a speculative view more trivial, yet which, if put 
in practice, would have a happier tendency to unite the 
men, and abolish those provincial distinctions that lead to 
jealousy and dissatisfaction." This was the origin of the 
peculiar uniform of American soldiers. A few days after 
this report was sent to Congress it was discovered that, 
by mistake, a false return of the powder in the camp had 
been made — the supply was nearly exhausted. This dis- 
covery crippled every movement, and left the Americans 
at the mercy of the enemy should they be attacked. Their 
only safety lay in silence and inaction. Messengers were 
hurried in every direction to collect and send to the camp 
all the powder that could be obtained. In about a fort- 
night they procured a small supply. 

We now turn to affairs in New York, where, it will be 
remembered, Schuyler had command. After their brave 
exploits on Lake Champlain, Arnold and Allen both 
claimed authority over the captured forts — the former 
referred to Massachusetts, the latter to Connecticut, to 
confirm their respective claims. As these forts belonged to 
New York, Allen wrote to the Congress of that province 
for supplies of men and money to defend them. But the 
whole matter was, at length, referred to the Continental 


chap. Congress, which decided that New York should have the 
charge of the forts, and authorized it to call upon New 

177S - England for aid in their defence. The call was made upon 
Connecticut, in answer to which Colonel Hinman, with a 
thousand men, was sent to join Arnold. Allen's Green 
Mountain Boys were by this time disbanded, as their term 
of enlistment had expired. These war spirits, Arnold and 
Allen, had urged upon the Continental Congress to fur- 
nish them means to invade Canada. Allen, in company 
with Seth Warner, went in person to that body for au- 
thority to raise a new regiment. It was granted, and the 
New York Congress was recommended to receive this 
regiment of their ancient enemies into the regular army. 
They were to choose their own leader. For some reason 
Warner was chosen, and Allen entirely neglected; but 
not to be baffled when a fight was on hand, he joined the 
army as a volunteer. Arnold claimed the entire authority 
at Ticonderoga, after the departure of Allen, and difficul- 
ties arose between him and Hinman. A committee sent 
from the Congress of Massachusetts to inquire into the 
matter, decided that the command belonged to Hinman. 
Arnold swore he would not be second, disbanded his men, 
threw up his commission, and hurried to Cambridge. 

Congress was, at first, opposed to the invasion of Can- 
ada, and even thought of dismantling the forts on Lake 
Champlain. Recent intelligence that the authorities of 
that province were making preparations to recapture the 
forts and to regain the command of the lake induced 
them to determine upon its invasion in self-defence. 
Schuyler learned that seven hundred of the king's troops 
were in Canada; that Guy Johnson, with three hundred 
tenants and Indians, was at Montreal; that St. John's 
was fortified, and war-vessels were building there, and 
almost ready to pass by the Sorel into the lake. Yet he 
was encouraged by rumors that some of the inhabitants 
were disaffected, and might be induced to join against 


the mother country; if so, the British would be deprived chap. 

of a valuable recruiting station. Two expeditions against - 

Canada were determined upon, one by way of Lake Cham- 177i - 
plain, the other by the rivers Kennebec and Chaudiere. 
The former under Schuyler; the latter was intrusted to 
Arnold, who was in the camp chafed and disappointed, 
but ready for any daring enterprise that promised dis- 

Operations were to commence by way of the lake, 
where were assembled the New York troops, and some 
from New England. Schuyler was ably seconded by 
Brigadier-general Richard Montgomery. Montgomery 
was a native of Ireland; had, when a youth, been the 
companion of Wolfe in the French war. He resigned 
the British service, and remaining in America, settled in 
New York, where he married. A man of education and 
refinement, his generous sentiments led him to espouse 
ardently the cause of popular rights. 

General Schuyler passed from Ticonderoga down the 
lake and took possession of the Isle aux Noix, in the Sorel 
river. This position commanded the entrance into Lake 
Champlain. He then made an attempt on St John's, Sept. 
but finding it more strongly garrisoned than had been 
represented, he retired to the Isle aux Noix, with the 
intention of fortifying that important post, but severe 
sickness compelled him to return to Albany. The com- 
mand devolved upon Montgomery. Schuyler was soon 
able to send him supplies and ammunition, and also 
reinforcements under General Wooster. 

Ethan Allen, as usual, without orders, went on one of 
his rash expeditions. With only eighty-three men, he 
attempted to take Montreal, was overpowered and taken « . 
prisoner with his men. He himself was sent in irons to 24. 
England to be tried as a rebel. Here closed the connec- 
tion of this daring leader of the Green Mountain Boys 
with the war of the Revolution. He was not tried, but 


-jcxvni. liberated; then returned home, but from some dissatis- 

faction took no further part in the struggle. 

Montgomery sent a detachment which took Fort 
Chambly, a few miles further down the river, thus placing 
troops between St. John's and Canada. Sir Guy Carle- 
ton, the governor of that province, made exertions, but 
without success, to raise a force for the relief of St. 
John's. But when on his way he was repulsed at the 
passage of the St. Lawrence by Colonel Seth Warner; an- 
other party going up the Sorel on the same errand was 
3 V ' also driven back. The garrison at St. John's presently 
surrendered, and immediately the energetic Montgomery 
pushed on to Montreal, which submitted at the first sum- 
mons, while Carle ton with a few followers fled down the 
river to Quebec. This was a very seasonable capture for 
the Americans, as it supplied them with woollen clothes, 
of which necessaries they were in great need. 

Montgomery made great exertions in the midst of dis- 
couragements, arising from insubordination, desertions, 
and the lateness of the season, to push on and join Arnold 
Sept. before Quebec. Two months before this time that leader 
had left the camp before Boston with eleven hundred men, 
among whom were three companies of riflemen, under 
Morgan, to pass up the Kennebec, and thence across the 
wilderness to Quebec, there to unite with the force from 
New York. Aaron Burr, then a youth of twenty, accom- 
panied this expedition as a volunteer. It was a perilous 
undertaking. The journey was one of intense suffering 
and incessant toil. Six weeks they spent in dragging 
their boats up the river, and carrying the baggage around 
rapids; they cut their way through thickets and briars, 
forded streams, climbed mountains, breasted storms, and 
were so much in want of food that they devoured their 
dogs, and even their moccasins. Their number was re- 
duced to about six hundred effective men; one entire 
division had returned home with the sick and disabled. 


In a forlorn condition the remainder suddenly appeared ^^p 
at Point Levi, opposite Quebec. The inhabitants were '■ 

astonished at the apparition, and could Arnold have 1775 - 
crossed immediately, he might have taken the town; 9. ' 
but he was unable to do so for want of boats. In a few 
days came Carle ton from Montreal; he put the town in 
a state of defense, and increased his force to twelve 
hundred men by enlisting traders, sailors, and others. 

Although two armed vessels were on the watch, Ar- 
nold managed to cross the St. Lawrence, clambered up 
the Heights of Abraham by the same rugged path that 
Wolfe had used, and boldly challenged the garrison to 
battle. The contest was declined. It was useless for him 
to attempt to besiege the town without cannon, so he 
moved twenty miles up the river, where he met Mont- 
gomery. The toilsome march through the wilderness 
nearly stripped Arnold's men of their clothes; the wool- 
lens obtained at Montreal were to them also an accept- 
able protection against the rigors of a Canada winter. 

Their united force amounted to only nine hundred 
men. With these, Montgomery, who assumed the com- 
mand, advanced to Quebec. The flag he sent to demand 
a surrender was fired upon. A battery must be built; 
the ordinary material was not at hand, but ingenuity sup- 
plied its place. Gabions were filled with snow and ice, 
over which water was poured, and a Canada winter soon 
rendered them solid, but no ingenuity could render the 
ice otherwise than brittle — every shot from the town 
shattered it in pieces. It was now found that their 
cannon were too small. They could not batter the walls, 
and it was as fruitless to attempt to scale them. Some 
other plan must be adopted. 

It was determined to make a sudden attack on the 
lower town. Montgomery, with one division, was to ad- 
vance upon the south side, while Arnold was to make an 
attempt upon the north. At the same time feint move- 


chap ments were to be made against the upper town, and sig- 

nal rockets fired from the different points to distract and 

1775. divert the attention of the enemy. On the thirty-first of 
31." December a blinding snow-storm favored their enterprise. 
At two o'clock on the morning of that day they were on 
the march. The feint that was to cover the movement of 
Montgomery was successful. Undiscovered he descended 
from the Heights of Abraham, passing safely around Cape 
Diamond to the defile that led to the town. The pass, at 
all times difficult, was now obstructed by ice and drifting 
snow. It was defended by barriers guarded by Canadian 
militia. Taken by surprise, they fled from the picket. 
Montgomery passed the first barrier unopposed. As he 
stepped beyond it, sanguine and exultant with hope, he 
exclaimed: "Push on, my brave boys; Quebec is ours!" 
Just then a single gun loaded with grape-shot was fired 
from a battery; he fell, and by his side his aids and many 
others who had answered to his cheering call. The sol- 
diers, disheartened at the fall of their brave leader, were 
willing to abandon the town, under the lead of -Quarter- 
master Campbell, leaving the bodies of the slain Mont- 
gomery, Cheeseman, and MacPherson where they fell. 

By some neglect, no feint movement was made to 
cover the march of Arnold. He was harassed by a flank- 
ing fire as he pushed on to the entrance of the town. His 
leg being shattered by a ball, he was unable to lead his 
men against the battery. Morgan assumed the command, 
and with his riflemen stormed it and captured the men. 
At daylight he reached the second battery, which was also 
carried; but now the forces of the British were concen- 
trated at this point. Morgan's party made a brave resist- 
ance, but were overpowered by numbers and compelled 
to surrender. He himself was the last to submit. When 
called upon by the British soldiers to deliver up his sword, 
he refused, planted himself against a wall, and defied them 
to take it. They threatened to shoot him; his men expos- 


tulated. At length he saw a man — a priest he knew him chap. 


to be from his dress; to him he gave it, saying: "I will 
give my sword to you, but not a scoundrel of those cow- 1775 - 
ards shall take it out of my hands." The bravery of 
Morgan and his men was appreciated by Carle ton; as 
prisoners, they were treated with special kindness. 

Arnold now retired about three miles up the river, 
and there in a camp whose ramparts were formed of 
frozen snow and of ice, he blockaded Quebec through 
the winter. Here we leave him for the present. 

Montgomery was at first buried at Quebec. When 
nearly half a century had passed away, New York re- 
membered her adopted son. She transferred his remains 
to her metropolis, and with appropriate honors reinterred 181S. 
them in St. Paul's church-yard. 



Meeting of Congress; alarming Evils require its Attention. — British 
Cruisers. — Portland burned. — Efforts to defend the Coast. — 
Congress acts with Energy. — Parliament resolves to crush the 
Rebels. — Henry Knox. — Difficulties in the Army. — Provincial 
Prejudices. — Success of the Privateers. — British Theatricals. — 
The Union Flag. — Affairs in New York. — Rivington's Gazette. — 
Governor Tryon. — General Lee in the City. — The Johnsons. — 
Dunmore's Measures in Virginia; Norfolk burned. — Defeat of 
North Carolina Tories. — Lee at the South. — Cannon and Powder 
obtained. — Dorchester Heights fortified. — Boston Evacuated. — 
Washington in New York. — British and German Troops in 
Canada. — Numerous Disasters. — The Retreat from Canada. — 
Horatio Gates. — A British Fleet before Fort Moultrie. — Gloomy 

g|AJP- When the Continental Congress reassembled, delegates 

■ from Georgia took their seats for the first time, and the 

*£ 7 ^- style was assumed of The Thirteen United Colonies. 
5. During the session a delegate from beyond the moun- 

0ct * tains presented himself as the representative of the colony 
of Transylvania, the germ of the present State of Ken- 
tucky (settled by those bold pioneers, Boone, Harrod, 
and Henderson), but the delegate of the fourteenth col- 
ony was rejected on the ground that Virginia claimed 
the territory. 

Alarming evils required the prompt attention of Con- 
gress. The army was almost destitute of ammunition 
and military stores; the coast, to a great extent, unpro- 
tected; British cruisers hovered on the shores of New 
England; demanded of the inhabitants supplies; burned 


and pillaged the towns. The notorious Captain Wallace cblap. 
was stationed in Narragansett Bay; Stonington and Bris- 

tol had been bombarded, and Newport was threatened HJ75. 
with destruction. The British Admiral, Graves, it was 7. 
said, had issued orders to burn all the rebel towns from 
Halifax to Boston. This was no idle rumor. At Fal- 
mouth, now Portland, in Maine, the destruction began. 
This patriotic little town had, some time before, resolutely 18. 
repulsed Lieutenant Mowatt of the British navy. One 
evening he appeared with several vessels in the harbor, 
prepared to mete out the punishment due for such rebel- 
lion. He informed the inhabitants of his intention, and 
allowed them two hours "to remove the human species 
out of the town." A further respite until nine o'clock 
next morning was with difficulty obtained. The people 
removed during the night; then, by means of bombs 
and carcasses, this flourishing village of three hundred 
houses was laid in ashes. The other towns assumed a 
posture of defence, and avoided a similar ruin. 

The colonies separately took measures to defend their 
coasts against such attacks. Already Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, and South Carolina had appointed Naval Boards, 
and equipped armed vessels. The British ships had been 
driven from the harbor at Charleston; a powder-ship had 
been captured by a South Carolina vessel. Washington 
had sent cruisers into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, to intercept supplies intended for the 
enemy. One of these, the schooner Lee, commanded by 
Captain Manly, deserves particular mention. She did 
the country good service. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, 
and Connecticut now equipped a few small vessels. Al- 
though a few harbors were thus defended, the force that 
protected the coast was still insufficient. 

Congress applied themselves vigorously to remedy 
these evils. They forwarded some of the powder seized 


chap, by the South Carolinians to the camp; appointed a secret 
_^ — . committee to import it from the West Indies; took meas- 

1775. ures t establish mills for its manufacture, and founderies 


25. for the making of cannon. They licensed privateers, and 
ordered gun-boats to be prepared for the defence of the 
harbors; appointed a Naval Committee which was au- 
thorized to build thirteen frigates; but, alas! want of 
funds interfered sadly with the accomplishment of these 
proposed measures. 
Dec. In this Naval Committee we recognize the germ of 

13, the Navy Department. About this time a secret com- 
mittee was authorized to open a private correspondence 
with the friends of the cause in England, Ireland, and 
elsewhere; this grew into the State Department. Thus 
was the Continental Congress gradually laying the foun- 
dation of the present government of the United States. 

Parliament, in the meantime, took measures to crush 
the "rebels;" enacted laws against them, cruel in the 
extreme; gave orders to treat them in warfare not as 
equals, but as criminals, who should be thankful to escape 
the gallows. The ministry proclaimed all ships trading 
to the colonies lawful prizes; and the crews of all cap- 
tured colonial trading vessels virtually slaves; these were 
doomed to serve in the royal navy as marines. Parlia- 
ment also voted to increase their army in America to 
forty thousand men — of this number twenty-five thou- 
Nov. sand had yet to be raised. They could not be obtained 
in Great Britain; men would not enlist. Lord Howe had 
written to the ministry that Catholic Irish soldiers could 
not be trusted, and suggested the employment of German 
troops. Negotiations were accordingly commenced with 
two of the little German principalities, Brunswick and 
Hesse Cassel; and the English monarch hired seventeen 
thousand Germans, or Hessians, to aid him in subduing 
the descendants of Englishmen in America. In vain did 


the best and most humane in Parliament oppose these gHA£- 
measures. There was in England an honorable minority, -- 

who felt for the cause of the colonists. Burke and Barre 1775 - 
stood firm; Conway and the Duke of Grafton resigned 
their offices and joined the opposition; Lord Effingham 
and the son of Pitt threw up their commissions in the 
army rather than take part in the unnatural struggle. 
The mercantile interests of the country, and especially 
the Corporation of London, were opposed to the measures 
of Parliament. Intelligence of them aroused the Amer- 
icans to greater exertions, and deepened their hostility 
to the mother country. 

Since the battle of Bunker Hill, the armies in and 
around Boston had been inactive — the British from 
choice, the Americans from want of ammunition. Wash- 
ington was anxious to be ready when the bay should be 
frozen to pass over to the town on the ice. But he must 
have powder and ordnance. 

Henry Knox, a bookseller of Boston, had entered with 
great zeal into the cause of his country. He had an in- 
tuitive skill in the use of artillery , which he first displayed 
on Bunker Hill, and afterward in planning the defences 
of the camp. His aptness and energy attracted the atten- 
tion of Washington. Knox proposed to go to Ticonde- 
roga and Crown Point, and bring from those places the 
cannon and powder that could be spared. Washington ap- 
proved the suggestion, wrote to Schuyler at Albany to give 
his assistance,and to Congress, recommending Knox as col- 
onel of a regiment of artillery. Knox immediately set out. 

Other difficulties surrounded the army. The soldiers 
had enlisted but for one year, their terms would expire 
before the first of January. In anticipation of this, a 
committee of the Continental Congress, consisting of Doc- 
tor Franklin, Colonel Harrison, of Virginia, and Thomas 
Lynch, of Carolina, met at Cambridge, with committees 


chap, from the New England colonies, to reorganize the army, 

! and to devise means to increase it to thirty-two thousand. 

1775. The committees were in favor of an attack upon Bos- 
ton as soon as practicable. Their plans were well laid, 
but how could they be carried out? The soldiers were 
unwilling to re-enlist; the zeal of the patriot army had 
begun to flag; winter was coming on; they were ill- 
fitted to endure its hardships; their fuel was scanty and 
their clothing poor; their families needed their presence; 
the attractions of home presented a delightful contrast 
to the privations of a winter campaign. Their patriot- 
ism was not extinct, but they were weary and discour- 
aged. Says Washington, in a letter: "The desire of 
retiring into a chimney-corner seized the troops as soon 
as their terms expired.'' 

Those who were willing to re-enlist, would do so only 
on certain conditions. They must know under what offi- 
cers they were to be placed. Provincial prejudices had 
their effect; the men of one colony hesitated to serve 
with those of another, or under officers not of their own 
choosing. It is pleasing to record one instance of high- 
minded patriotism — doubtless there were many. Colonel 
Asa Whitcombe, a worthy and experienced officer, was 
not reappointed on account of his advanced age. His 
men took offence, and refused to re-enlist. The colonel 
set them an example by enlisting himself as a private 
soldier. A younger officer immediately resigned the 
command of his regiment that Whitcombe might be ap- 
pointed, which was done. 

On the first of December, some days before their 
terms expired, a portion of the Connecticut troops be- 
gan to return home; they were unwilling even to remain 
in camp till their places could be supplied. Their arms 
were retained at an assessed value. 

In the midst of this gloom the privateers did good 
service. The camp was thrown into ecstasies by the 


arrival of a long train of wagons laden with military chap. 

stores. The brave Captain Manly had captured off Cape — 

Ann a brigantine laden with guns, mortars, and working 177 *« 
tools, designed for the British army. Among the can- 
non thus obtained was an immense mortar. This was 
deemed so great a prize, that in the joy of the moment, 
it was proposed to give it a name. "Old Putnam 
mounted it, dashed on it a bottle of rum, and gave it 
the name of Congress." 

The blockade of the British was so stringent that they 
began to suffer seriously for fuel and fresh provisions: 
they could obtain none from the land side, while the 
coast was closely watched. Abundant supplies were 
sent from England, bub these were often wrecked or 
captured. Some of the poorer houses were taken down 
to supply fuel, and many of the poorer people sent out of 
the town in order to lessen the demand for provisions. 

To the grief of the patriot inhabitants, the Old South 
Church, that time-honored and sacred edifice, was con- 
verted into a riding-school for Burgoyne's light-horse, and 
the pastor's library used to kindle fires. In retaliation, 
the soldiers converted the Episcopal church at Cambridge 
into barracks, and melted the leaden pipes of the organ 
into bullets. The British officers beguiled their time by 
getting up balls and theatricals. Among the plays per- 
formed was one, written by General Burgoyne, carica- 
turing the American army and its officers. 

On the first of January the Union Flag was unfurled, 177& 
for the first time, over the camp at Cambridge. It was 
emblematic of the state of the country. The English 
cross retained in one corner, intimated a still existing 
relation with the mother country, while the thirteen 
stripes of red and white that represented the thirteen 
colonies, now united for self-government and resistance to 


chap, oppression, were broadly significant of the New Republic 

'- that was to grow out of this union. 

1776. The y ear opened drearily for the patriots. There were 
less than ten thousand men in the camp, among whom 
were many undisciplined recruits, and many without arms. 
The people were impatient — why not capture or drive 
the enemy out of Boston? they asked on all sides. The 
situation of Washington was painful in the extreme : he 
could not publish his reasons, lest the enemy should learn 
his weakness. Under these circumstances he writes thus 
to a confidential friend: " We are now left with a good 
deal less than half -raised regiments and about five thou- 
sand militia. * * * If I shall be able to rise superior to 
these and many other difficulties, which might be enu- 
merated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger 
of Providence is in it, to blind the eyes of our enemies." 

About this time ships commanded by Sir Henry Clin- 
ton left the harbor of Boston on a secret expedition. It 
was justly surmised that he was bound for New York. 
We turn once more to the state of affairs in that province. 

As has been said, much of the wealth and influence 
of New York was on the side of the Tories. Richmond 
and Queen's counties had refused to send delegates to the 
Provincial Congress. Governor Try on, who had retired 
to a British man-of-war in the harbor, kept up a corre- 
spondence with the friends of the royal cause in the city. 
There was published the most influential Tory journal in 
the country, "Rivington's Gazette" — "a thorn in the 
side of the patriots." Many who were opposed to this 
journal were unwilling to adopt violent measures; the 
committee of safety refused to interfere with it. Colonel 
Isaac Sears, one of the boldest and most energetic of the 
New York Sons of Liberty, collected, in Connecticut, 
about a hundred horsemen, dashed into the city, broke 
the press and carried away the types to New Haven. 


The possession of New York, as it was "the key to §£££ 

the whole continent, a passage to Canada, to the great 

Lakes, and to all the Indian nations," was all-important 1776# 
to the patriots. It was determined to place troops there. 
Sears, seconded by the authority of Governor Trumbull, 
proceeded to form regiments in Connecticut. Washington 
ordered General Charles Lee to take command of these 
regiments and proceed with them to New York, put that 
city in a state of defence, call in aid from New Jersey to 
disarm the Tories on Long Island and elsewhere — duties 
which Lee proceeded forthwith to perform. Governor 
Tryon threatened to bombard the city if he entered it 
with the Connecticut troops. The people were greatly 
alarmed. The provincial Congress requested Lee not to 
advance for the present. He was determined to push on 
with a sufficient number of troops to secure the city, and 
threatened in his turn, "if they make a pretext of my 
presence to fire on the town, the first house set on flames 
by their guns shall be the funeral-pile of some of their 
best friends." He entered the city on Sunday, February Yeh t 
fourth, and encamped on the spot where the City Hall 4 - 
now stands, then a suburb known as "The Fields." 

The threats and counter- threats had wrought up the 
feelings of the people to a state of intense excitement. 
During the day this was greatly increased; cannon were 
heard from the Narrows. Sir Henry Clinton was entering 
the harbor. Many of the inhabitants hastened from the 
city; on the afternoon of that Sabbath day Kingsbridge 
was thronged with people and wagons on their way to the 
country. But these fears were soon relieved. Clinton 
gave notice that he came merely to a pay a visit to his 
" friend Tryon." He remained but a short time, then 
sailed away to North Carolina. His mysterious expedition 
and his " whimsical civility" to his " friend Tryon "gave 
rise to much speculation; though, as he had but few 
troops, his movements had, as yet, created but little 


chap, alarm. Lee now proceeded to put the city in a state of 


Serious difficulties threatened the interior of the prov- 
ince. Guy Johnson had retired to Canada; Sir John 
Johnson had fortified his "Hall," and gathered about him 
his Highlanders and Mohawks. Schuyler proceeded to 
Jan. disarm and disband this dangerous company. Sir John 
gave his parole not to take up arms against America. 
A few months afterward he was suspected of breaking 
his word; to avoid arrest, he fled to Canada, where he 
received a colonel's commission, and organized the regi- 
ments called the " Royal Greens," afterward so renowned 
for deeds of cruelty. 

During this winter Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, 
who, like Tryon, had taken refuge in one of the king's 

June, ships, had been engaged in intrigues against the colonists. 

Dec. He sent a vessel to Boston with supplies which, however, 
was captured. In a letter found on board he had invited 
General Howe to transfer the seat of war to the South; 
he also landed at Norfolk, carried off a printing press, 
published a proclamation that promised freedom to the 
slaves or indented white servants of the patriots who 
would join his cause. With a force thus collected he took 
possession of the town. Fugitive slaves and others began 
to flock to his banner. Virginia raised new regiments to 
dislodge him and oppose strong movements that were 

j^ making in his favor. The second regiment, under Wood- 

1776. ford, took possession of the narrow neck which connects 
Norfolk with the mainland, and compelled Dunmore to 
re-embark. Soon after he returned, bombarded the town, 
and landed a party who burned a portion of it to the 
ground. The patriots burned the remainder lest it should 
afford shelter to its enemies. Thus perished the principal 
shipping port of Virginia, her largest and richest town. 


The British were secretly planning an invasion of the §^£- 

South. Governor Martin, of North Carolina, who, like 

many of the royal governors of that day, carried on opera- 1776 - 
tions from on board a ship, was stirring up the Tories of 
that province, many of whom were Highlanders. He 
hoped to gather a land force to co-operate with Sir Peter 
Parker, who was on his way from Ireland with a fleet of 
ten ships, on board of which were seven regiments. The 
movements of Sir Henry Clinton could now be accounted 
for. He had left Boston to take command of the land forces 
in this intended invasion: he stopped to confer on the sub- 
ject with Try on, who had been governor of North Carolina. 

Martin had commissioned two prominent Scotchmen, 
McDonald and McLeod — both recent emigrants, and offi- 
cers of the British army. General McDonald enlisted 
some fifteen hundred men and marched for the coast, but 
the North Carolina patriots were on the alert. He was 
intercepted at Moore's Creek Bridge, sixteen miles from Feb. 
Wilmington. Colonel McLeod was killed; McDonald 
and eight hundred and fifty loyalists were taken pris- 
oners. He and his officers were sent away to the north. 

This defeat, which at the first glance may appear of 
little consequence, was important in its bearing; it inter- 
fered for a time with the plans of Clinton and Martin. 
This delay was most valuable to the patriots; they had 
time to collect forces and mature plans for defence. Gen- 
eral Lee was appointed by Congress to take command of 
the southern army and to watch Clinton, who was hover- 
ing on the coast in expectation of the British squadron. 
After long delays it arrived at the mouth of Cape Fear May 
River. Congress learned from intercepted letters that 
Charleston was to be attacked. There, at the first alarm, 
six thousand men from Virginia and the Carolinas had 
assembled. The indefatigable Lee reached the city just 
as Clinton appeared in the harbor. Had the enemy at- 
tacked that place at once they might have taken it with 


chap. ease. It was, wrote Lee, " perfectly defenceless." The 
-1 opportunity was not improved, and both parties began 

i 776 - to fortify and prepare for a contest. Here we leave them 
4. for the present, and return to the camp before Boston. 

During the month of January there was little im- 
provement in the state of the army. On the tenth of 
February Washington writes: " Without men, without 
arms, without ammunition, little is to be done." The 
patriots had looked hopefully toward Canada, only to be 
disappointed. Montgomery had fallen; Morgan and his 
brave band were prisoners; the remnant of the shattered 
forces that lingered with Arnold in his icy fortress before 
the walls of Quebec, could accomplish nothing. The 
whole line of the Atlantic coast was threatened; and in 
view of these circumstances Washington was anxious to 
strike a decisive blow that should encourage the despond- 
ing and revive popular enthusiasm. In truth, the state 
of public feeling demanded such a course. Congress had 
D ec . authorized him to push the attack upon Boston to the 
1775. destruction of the town, should it be necessary. John 
Hancock, who had large possessions there, said: "Do it, 
and may God crown your attempt with success." When 
the bay became frozen Washington was impatient to cross 
over on the ice; again and again he proposed an attack, 
but a council of war as often decided that the force was 
still too weak, the ammunition too scant. Meanwhile, 
Putnam was actively engaged in constructing works on 
the neighboring heights. Many of the labors conducted 
by the brave old general had to be attended to in the night- 
time to avoid the fire from the enemy's ships. Toward 
spring affairs began to wear a brighter aspect. Ten new 
regiments of militia were enlisted; the great want that par- 
alyzed every effort — powder — was supplied from various 
quarters; some was obtained from New York, some from 
Bermuda; the Connecticut mills were also in operation. 


Now, to the great joy of the camp, Knox returned with chap. 
his long train of sledges laden with ammunition, and can- - 

non of various kinds. With the joy was mingled admira- 1776 - 
tion for the energy displayed. He had travelled more 
than four hundred miles over frozen streams and through 
a wilderness obstructed by the snows of winter. The dull 
monotony of inaction gave way to bustle and excitement. 
All was now ready for active operations. The heights 
that commanded the town must be seized and fortified. 
Putnam had already fortified Lechmere Point, on the 
north; there he had mounted his famous "Congress:" 
that point had only to be supplied with more large can- 
non and with powder. Now the main object was to 
secure Dorchester Heights, which commanded the town 
on the south, and also the harbor. This would compel 
the enemy to leave the town or bring on a general en- 
gagement: plans were laid accordingly. 

To divert the attention of the enemy while prepara- 
tions were in progress, Boston was to be bombarded and 
cannonaded from different points. Should the Ameri- 
cans attain the heights, and the enemy attempt to dis- 
lodge them, Putnam, with four thousand picked men, 
was prepared to cross Charles river and attack the north 
part of the town. 

Washington, deeply impressed with the importance of 
the coming struggle, issued orders forbidding "all playing 
at cards or other games of chance," adding, " In this time 
of public distress, men may find enough to do in the ser- 
vice of God and their country, without abandoning them- 
selves to vice and immorality." He also warned the 
troops, " If any man in action shall presume to skulk, hide 
himself, or retreat from the enemy without orders, he 
will be instantly shot down as an example of cowardice." 

The fourth of March was fixed upon for the enterprise. Mat. 
On the evening of that day, the detachment under Gen- 
eral Thomas, designed to occupy the heights, moved as 


<gAT- quietly as possible. In the advance were eight hundred 

. men; then came the carts with the intrenching tools; 

1776 - then twelve hundred more men, and in the rear were three 
hundred wagons laden with bales of hay and bundles of 
fagots to be used in making the breastwork. They reached 
the heights about eight o'clock; amid the roar of artillery 
— for the enemy were returning the fire directed against 
them with great spirit — the noise of the wagons and the 
necessary bustle of the movement had been unheard. 
Though the earth was frozen eighteen inches deep, they 
threw up an embankment and used their hay and other 
material to great advantage. During that night of labor, 
the commander-in-chief was drawn by his interest to the 
spot. In the morning the fortification appeared very 
formidable. General Howe, as he examined it through 
the mist, exclaimed: "The rebels have done more work 
in one night than my whole army would have done in a 
month." The patriots, at this crisis, watched the move- 
ments of the enemy with intense interest. A cannonade 
was opened upon the heights, but without much effect. 
Howe did not attempt to storm the works. A night 
attack was resolved upon, but a furious storm arose, the 
ships of war could render no service, nor could the boats 
land in the heavy surf. Before the storm was over the 
Americans were too strong to be assaulted. A council of 
war advised Howe to evacuate the town, as both it and 
the shipping were exposed to a destructive bombard- 
ment. To insure the safety of his army during the em- 
barkation, Howe appealed to the fears of the inhabitants; 
he intimated he would burn the town if his troops were 
fired upon. A deputation of citizens made this known, 
in an informal manner to Washington, and the British 
were suffered to depart unmolested. 

Eleven days were employed in the embarkation. About 
fifteen hundred loyalists made ready to leave with the 
departing army; thus was the good city of Boston purged 


of its Tory population. Authorized by Howe, the British chap. 

demanded of the inhabitants all the linen and woollen 

goods ; salt, molasses, and o ther necessaries were destroyed. 1776 - 
Crean Brush, a New York Tory, who was commissioned 
to take charge of the goods that were seized, took ad- 
vantage of his authority and broke open and pillaged 
stores and private houses, as did some of the soldiers. 
The embarkation was hastened, at the last, by a false 
alarm that the Americans were about to assault the town. 

On the next Monday, March eighteenth, Washington j^ 
entered the city. He was received with joy by the re- 18 - 
maining inhabitants. After a siege of ten months Bos- 
ton was again free; above it waved the Union flag of 
thirteen stripes. The British fleet, consisting of one 
hundred and fifty vessels, lay for some days in Nantasket 
roads, and then bore away. Washington feared its des- 
tination was New York. As soon as possible he hastened 
thither with the main body of the army. Five regiments 
remained at Boston with General Ward. Soon afterward 
he resigned, but served the cause in the Massachusetts 
council and in Congress. 

The land rejoiced greatly at this success. On motion 
of John Adams, Congress gave Washington a unanimous 
vote of thanks, and ordered a gold medal to be struck 
in commemoration of the event. 

The expenses of the war were so great that just before ^L b# 
this Congress had been obliged to issue four additional 
millions of continental paper. A financial committee had 
been appointed, and now an auditor-general and assist- April 
ants were to act under this committee; this assumed the 
form of a Treasury Department. Two months later Con- 
gress established a War Office, and appointed a committee 
of five members to superintend its operations. To act 
as chairman of this committee, John Adams resigned the 
office of chief justice of Massachusetts. 


chap. Washington reached New York on the thirteenth of 

. April; there he found much to be done. The Heights 

1776. f Long Island, Kingsbridge, the main avenue from the 
city by land, were at best but imperfectly guarded, and 
many prominent points on the river and Sound were 
entirely undefended. 

Governor Tryon and the British ships in the harbor 
were in constant communication with the Tories in the 
city. To guard against these dangers, external and inter- 
nal, Washington had but eight thousand effective men. 
General Greene was sent with one division to fortify what 
is now Brooklyn Heights, on Long Island, as they com- 
manded New York. He was also to make himself familiar 
with the surrounding country. Urged by the commander- 
in-chief, the committee of safety were induced to prohibit 
all intercourse with Governor Tryon. Any such inter- 
course, if discovered, was to be severely punished. But 
Tryon, aided by spies and agents, continued his efforts 
in the king's cause. A conspiracy, to which he had insti- 
gated the Tories, was fortunately discovered. Some of 
these may have been true loyalists, but there were others 
basely won by the promise of reward. In low taverns 
and drinking-saloons the patriot soldiers were tampered 
with. The mayor of the city was arrested, as well as 
some of Washington's body-guard, charged with be- 
ing concerned in the plot. One of the guard, Thomas 
Hickey, a deserter from the British army, was hanged, 
"for mutiny, sedition, and treachery." This example 
J ^ e alarmed the Tories, and we hear of no more plots. 

For the first time Washington learned of the measures 
*fj7 of the British Parliament. The hired Hessian and Ger- 


man troops were landing in Canada. New apprehensions 
were awakened for the army in that province. Great 
efforts were made to reinforce it; regiments were sent 
under Sullivan and Thompson. Early in the spring Gen- 


eral Wooster had joined Arnold and taken the command chap. 

at Quebec. But it was not easy for Arnold to act in con- . 

cert with a superior officer; as usual, he had difficulty 1776 - 
with Wooster and retired to Montreal. Soon after Woos- 
ter was recalled, and Thomas, now a major-general, was 
appointed to the northern army. General Carleton was 
strongly reinforced, and Thomas was compelled to make 
a hasty retreat from before Quebec — so hasty that the 
baggage, the artillery, and even the sick were left behind. 
The noble humanity of Carleton deserves to be recorded. 
He sought out the sick, many of whom had hid from him 
in terror, conveyed them to the general hospitals, and 
promised that on their recovery they should be permitted 
to return home. Thomas hastened to the Sorel where, on June, 
the second of June, he died of the small-pox, which pre- 
vailed greatly in the army. Though the army once more 
changed its commander, there was no change in its pros- 
pects; they continued to be of the gloomiest character. 
Carleton came pressing on with a force of thirteen thou- 
sand men. General Thompson, with a portion of the 
American troops, was defeated at Three Rivers; and he, 
with his officers and many of his men, were taken prison- 
ers. Those who escaped joined Sullivan on the Sorel. 

Arnold had been equally unfortunate at Montreal. 
He stationed a detachment of four hundred men at a 
point called The Cedars, about forty miles above that 
place, in order to intercept the stores sent to the enemy. 
As this post was threatened with an attack, it was shame- 
fully surrendered by Colonel Butterworth without a blow. 
A reinforcement sent to their aid was also taken pris- 
oners. Arnold now joined Sullivan. A council of war 
decided upon a retreat, and the wreck of the army passed 
out of Canada, followed by a strong British force. 

The army was in a deplorable condition when it reached 
Crown Point. To use the words of John Adams, it was 
" defeated, discontented, dispirited, diseased, no clothes, 


c&AP. beds, blankets, nor medicines; no victuals but salt pork 

and flour." Thus ended this invasion, famous for its 

1776 - daring exploits and numerous disasters. 

Congress approved of Sullivan's prudent retreat; they 
did not, however, confirm him in the authority that had 
devolved upon him on the death of General Thomas. 
They appointed Major-general Gates to the command, 
and awarded Sullivan a vote of thanks — an honor as un- 
satisfactory to him as it was empty in itself. Sullivan 
was deeply wounded, as was General Schuyler, for Gates 
claimed the command, not only of the forces on Lake 
Champlain, but of the whole northern army. 

Horatio Gates, like Lee, was of foreign birth; like 
him, he was a disappointed man. Of his very early life 
little is known. He served in America under Braddock, 
in the West Indies under Monckton; but as he did not 
receive from his native England the honors which he 
thought his due, he sold his commission in the British 
army and retired to Virginia, where he renewed his ac- 
quaintance with Washington, and with his former asso- 
ciate, General Lee. Gates was ambitious, and the revo- 
lution opened a path to distinction. As an office-seeker 
he had, it is said, learned to "flatter and accommodate 
himself to the humors of others." He could be " the boon 
companion of gentlemen, and 'hail fellow well met' with 
the vulgar." He ingratiated himself with the New Eng- 
enders, with whom, for some reason, Schuyler was un- 
popular. Through their influence, it is thought, Gates 
obtained what he aimed at — promotion. The enemies of 
Schuyler advanced serious charges against him; attribu- 
ted to him the failure of the Canada expedition, and even 
hinted at treason. There is an instinct common to noble 
minds by which they discern truth in others. Washington 
never doubted the integrity of Schuyler, nor did Congress 
sustain Gates in his claim to supersede him. The ap- 
















pointment of the latter, they said, referred only to the chap. 

forces while in Canada; elsewhere he was subordinate . 

to Schuyler. The difficulty was passed over, as the 1776 » 
result of a mistake, and the rival commanders assumed 
the appearance of satisfaction. 

We now return to Charleston, where we left both par- 
ties preparing for a contest. On the fate of Sullivan's 
Island, the key to the harbor, the result seemed to depend. 
One party was making ready to attack, the other to de- 
fend it. On the south-west point of this island was a fort 
commanded by Colonel William Moultrie. Fort Moultrie 
was constructed of logs of palmetto, a wood soft and 
spongy; cannon-balls could not splinter it. Lee, not 
familiar with the palmetto, thought it madness to attempt 
to defend so fragile a fort; he contemptuously styled it 
the " Slaughter-pen." This important post was threat- 
ened by sea and land. Before it lay the British fleet 
under Sir Peter Parker. Sir Henry Clinton, with two 
thousand men, had taken possession of Long Island, 
which lay to the east of Sullivan's Island, and was sep- 
arated from it only by a narrow creek. Here he was 
erecting batteries to cover his passage across the creek, 
to assault the fort when the fire of the ships should make 
a breach. To oppose him the Americans stationed a force 
under Colonel Thompson on the opposite side of the 
creek. Lee took his position on a point of the mainland 
north of the island, where he stood ready at any moment 
to aid either Thompson or Moultrie. 

The strength of the fort was now to be tested. On 
the twenty-eighth of June the formidable fleet of Parker J ^? e 
advanced and commenced a "most furious fire," which 
was returned with great spirit. The firing had but little 
effect upon the low wooden fort, while the ships of the 
enemy were almost torn in pieces. In the midst of the 
terrific roar of artillery the Americans stood bravely to 


chap, their guns; some of them remained at their posts even 

after they had lost a limb. For ten hours the battle 

1776. ra g e d without intermission. Then Sir Peter drew off his 
ships. Among the slain was Lord Campbell, ex-governor 
of the province, who fought as a volunteer on board the 
admiral's ship. 

Sir Henry Clinton made repeated attempts to reach 
Sullivan's Island, but was as often foiled by the batteries 
of Thompson. Several of the ships ran aground; one, 
the Acteon, was set on fire with her guns loaded and colors 
flying, and then abandoned. The Americans, determined 
to secure a trophy, boarded the burning vessel, fired her 
guns at the retreating enemy, took possession of her colors, 
loaded three boats with stores, and departed in safety, 
before she blew up. Among the many heroic incidents 
connected with this battle, one is related of Sergeant Jas- 
per. The flag-staff was cut by a ball, and the flag fell 
outside the fort. Jasper immediately leaped down and, 
amid the "iron hail," picked up the flag, tied it to a pole, 
deliberately placed it on the parapet, and then returned 
to his companions at the guns. Governor Rutledge appre- 
ciated the heroic deed; a few days after he presented his 
own sword to Jasper and offered him a lieutenant's com- 
mission. He accepted the sword, but modestly declined pro- 
motion on the ground that he could neither read nor write. 
June On the very day that this battle took place at the 
2&* South, a British fleet of forty vessels entered the harbor 
of New York. On board was General Howe, and with 
him the late garrison of Boston. Since the evacuation of 
that place he had been at Halifax awaiting the arrival of 
his brother, Admiral Howe. He landed his forces on 
Staten Island, where he was received with demonstrations 
of joy by the Tories. Clouds of deeper darkness were 
gathering around New York. The Admiral with more 
forces might be expected at any moment; the crisis so 
long dreaded was at hand. The American soldiers were 


ordered to be each day at their alarm posts, and to be in chap. 

readiness for instant action. Orders to the same effect . 

were sent up the river. Rumors of disaffection in that 1776 - 
quarter added the fear of treachery to the general alarm. 
Such was the state of things — the northern army de- 
feated and broken, the fleet of Sir Henry Clinton on its 
way from the South, Admiral Howe on his way from 
England, the harbor of New York filled with the enemy's 
ships, — when an event took place, most important in 
American history. The colonies declared themselves in- 
dependent of all foreign authority, and took their place 
among the nations of the earth. 



The Question of Independence; Influences in favor of. — The Tories. 
— "Common Sense." — The Declaration; its Reception by the 
People and Army. — Arrival of Admiral Howe. — His Overtures 
for Reconciliation. — The American Army; its Composition. — 
Sectional Jealousies. — The Forts on the Hudson. — The Clin- 
tons. — Battle of Long Island. — The Masterly Retreat. — Inci- 
dents. — Camp on Harlem Heights. — Howe confers with a 
Committee of Congress. — Nathan Hale. — The British at Kipp's 
Bay. — New York evacuated. — Conflict at White Plains. — The 
Retreat across New Jersey. — Waywardness of Lee. 

chap. The alienation between the colonies and the mother coun- 


. 1 try began at the close of the French war. It was not the 

1776. result of any one cause, but of many; the change of feel- 
ing was not instantaneous, but gradual. As the struggle 
took a more decided form, many, who were determined in 
their resistance to oppression, were unwilling to cast off 
their allegiance to the land to which their fathers still 
gave the endearing name of "home." There were, how- 
ever, among the true Sons of Liberty a few who had seen 
the end from the beginning. Such men as Samuel Adams 
and Patrick Henry foresaw the haughty obstinacy of the 
British ministry, and foretold the result. "Independent 
we are and independent we will be," said Adams; and 
Henry exclaimed, in the Virginia Assembly: "We must 
fight. An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all 
that is left us!" 

What had long been felt by the few now flashed upon 


the minds of the many, that they could never enjoy chap. 

their rights but as a self-governing nation. Would the 1 

oppressions of the home government justify separation, 1776 - 
which would involve all the horrors of a protracted and 
doubtful war? This question became the subject of 
discussion in the Provincial Assemblies and among the 
people themselves. 

It was not arbitrary and unjust laws alone, nor the 
refusal of political rights, that had estranged the American 
people. Religious views had their influence in moulding 
public sentiment in favor of independence. Long-con- 
tinued and persistent efforts to establish the Episcopal 
church in New England, had roused the latent hostility 
of theCongregationalists — they would not submit to Eng- 
lish control in matters of religion. The Presbyterians of 
the middle and southern colonies, derived, as they were, 
from the dissenting Scottish church, had a traditionary 
feeling of opposition to the same influence. Both pastors 
and people were stanch Whigs and went hand in hand 
with the ministers and people of New England. Even in 
Virginia, where the Episcopal church was established by 
law, and where the majority of the people were its advo- 
cates, the attempt to place over them a bishop was de- 
nounced by the House of Burgesses as a "pernicious pro- 
ject." Though strenuous churchmen, they were jealous 
of external influences, and repudiated the control of the 
mother church. On the contrary, the Episcopal clergy, 
great numbers of whom were Englishmen by birth, from 
their associations were inclined to favor the royal author- 
ity. Nor should we judge them harshly; they acted in 
accordance with their views of the intimate connection of 
church and state. These views influenced the members 
of that church more in the northern than in the southern 
colonies, and great numbers of them faithfully adhered to 
the "Lord's anointed," as they termed the king. 

The peace-loving Quakers, numerous in Pennsylvania, 


chap. New Jersey, and Delaware opposed war as wrong in it- 
self. The Moravians held similar views. These grieved 

1776. over th e violation of their rights, yet they hoped by 
pacific measures to obtain justice. 

There were others who, though not opposed to war, 
believed it to be wrong to rise in opposition to the rule of 
the mother country. There were also the timid, who 
deemed it madness to resist a power so colossal. There 
were the low and grovelling, who sought only an oppor- 
tunity to plunder; the time-serving and the avaricious, 
who, for the gain they might acquire as contractors for 
the British army, or by furnishing provisions for pris- 
oners, joined the enemies of their country. 

The evacuation of Boston strengthened the already 
strong feeling in favor of independence so prevalent in 
New England. In the south the recent risings of the 
Tories in North Carolina, the ravages of Dunmore in Vir- 
ginia, and the attack upon Charleston, served still more 
to alienate the affections of the people; while their suc- 
cess in repelling the invasion gave them assurance. For 
many reasons they wished to be independent. Then they 
could form treaties with other nations, and the brand of 
rebel, so repugnant to an honorable mind, would be re- 
moved. In truth, Congress had already taken the ground 
of an independent government by offering free trade to 
other nations, in all merchandise except that of British 
manufacture and slaves — the latter traffic they had pro- 
hibited some months before. 

About the first of the year a pamphlet was issued in 
Philadelphia under the title of " Common Sense," which 
had a great influence upon the public mind. Its author, 
Thomas Paine, an Englishman, had been in the country 
but a few months. In a style adapted to convince the 
popular mind he exposed the folly of delaying any longer 
a formal separation from the mother country. The pam- 
phlet had a very great circulation, and a proportionate 


influence in deciding the timid and wavering in favor of &*£*• 



On the seventh of June Richard Henry Lee intro- 
duced a resolution into Congress, declaring, "That the 
United Colonies are and ought to be free and independent 
States, and that their political connection with Great 
Britain is and ought to be dissolved. ' ' Upon this resolution 
sprang up an animated discussion. It was opposed, prin- 
cipally, on the ground that it was premature. Some of 
the best and strongest advocates of colonial rights spoke 
and voted against the motion, which passed only by a 
bare majority of seven States to six. Some of the dele- 
gates had not received instructions from their constitu- 
ents on the subject, and others were instructed to vote 
against it. Its consideration was prudently deferred until 
there was a prospect of greater unanimity. Accordingly, 
on the eleventh a committee, consisting of Doctor Frank- 
lin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Roger 
Sherman, of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston, of 
New York, was appointed to prepare a Declaration. To 
give opportunity for union of opinion, the consideration 
of the subject was postponed to the first of July. At the 
same time two other committees were appointed; one 
to draw up a plan for uniting all the colonies, the other 
to devise measures to form foreign alliances. 

On the twenty-eighth the committee reported the dec- June. 
laration to the house. It was drawn by Jefferson, and 
contained a gracefully written summary of the sentiments 
of the people and Congress. After a few verbal altera- 
tions suggested by Adams and Franklin, it was approved 
by the committee. The house, however, struck out a few 
passages. One of these reflected severely upon the British 
government; another denounced the slave-trade; another 
censured the king for his attempts to prevent, by the re- 
fusal of his signature, the enactment of laws designed to 


xxx; prohibit that traffic. They were unwilling to offend the 

friends of the colonies in Britain, and feared lest these 

1776# strong expressions might prevent the declaration from 
receiving a unanimous vote. The vote was taken by 
States; the delegates were not unanimous, but there were 
a sufficient number to give the vote of all the colonies, 
New York alone excepted, which was given in a few days. 
The announcement was delayed till the declaration should 
_ . receive a few amendments, and then, on July the fourth, 
4. it was formally adopted, and the thirteen colonies became 
The Thirteen United States of America. 

The bell of the State House, in which Congress held 
its sessions, has upon it the inscription: " Proclaim lib- 
erty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants 
thereof" — words taken from the Bible. Congress sat with 
closed doors, but it was known far and wide that the 
subject of independence was under discussion. Crowds 
assembled outside the Hall, and waited anxiously to 
learn the result. At mid-day the appointed signal was 
given. The bell was struck, and to its tones responded 
the joyous shouts of multitudes. The friends of liberty 
and independence breathed more freely; the declara- 
tion was made; the hesitancy of indecision was over, 
and the spirit of determination arose. It was published; 
it was read to the army; the soldiers received it with 
shouts of exultation and pledges to defend its princi- 
ples; it was announced in the papers; from the pulpits, 
and everywhere the Whigs hailed it with joy. Hopes of 
reconciliation, which had so much paralyzed measures of 
defence were at an end; there was now no neutral ground. 
The timid though honest friends of their country, who had 
so long hesitated, generally sided with liberty. The Tories 
were in a sad condition; the great majority of them were 
wealthy, and had hoped that the difficulties would yet be 
arranged. Laws passed by the new State authorities had 
rendered them liable to fines and imprisonments, and their 


property to confiscation. They endured many outrages, chap. 
and were subjected to "tarrings and featherings" innu- - — 1 
merable by self-constituted vigilance committees. Con- 1776 - 
gress, to prevent these outrages, gave the supervision of 
Tories to committees of inspection. The most obnoxious 
were fain to emigrate, and the committee admonished or 
restrained the others within certain limits. 

The soldiers in New York manifested their zeal by 
taking a leaden statue of King George, which stood in the 
Bowling Green, and running it into bullets, to be used in 
the cause of independence. To impress upon their minds 
a sense of the dignity of their position, as well as to re- 
prove this irregularity, Washington, in the orders, the fol- 
lowing day, referred to the subject. "The general hopes 
and trusts," said he, "that every officer and soldier will 
endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier 
defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.' 1 

A few days after the public Declaration of Independ- 
ence, the booming of cannon from the British vessels in 
the harbor of New York announced the arrival of Ad- 
miral Howe. To his brother and himself had been com- 
mitted the general control of American affairs. 

Before he proceeded to hostilities, the admiral ad- 
dressed a circular to the people; he offered them pardon 
if they would cease to be rebels, lay down their arms, and 
trust the king's mercy. As soon as this circular reached 
Congress that body caused it to be published in all the 
newspapers that the people might see that Britain would 
grant nothing and accept no concession short of absolute 
submission. " They must fight or be slaves." 

Howe also attempted to open a correspondence with 
Washington. As Parliament refused to acknowledge 
titles conferred by Congress, his letters were addressed 
first to Mr. George Washington, then to George Wash- 
ington, Esquire, &c, &c, hoping that the &c.'s would re- 


chap, move the difficulty; but the Commander-in-chief, justly 

tenacious of the dignity of his office, and of the honor of 

1776. h^ country, politely but firmly refused to receive them. 
The messenger expressed his regret that the correspond- 
ence could not be opened. His lordship, he said, wished 
for peace; he was vested with great powers. Washington 
replied that he understood Lord Howe had power to grant 
pardons; the Americans had defended their rights; they 
had committed no crime and needed no pardon. 

The Admiral was disappointed; he really desired 
peace. The reception he had met with had encouraged 
his hopes; he had received loyal addresses from the Tories 
of New Jersey, Long and Staten Islands; Governor Try on 
had assured him there were many others, secret friends 
of England, who might be induced to join him. But, 
to his surprise, his circular, from which he had hoped 
much, produced little or no effect. He was now con- 
vinced that nothing could be accomplished except by 
force of arms. Meanwhile his army, now on Staten Isl- 
and, received many accessions; Sir Henry Clinton had 
arrived, and more Hessian troops had landed. His whole 
force was about thirty-five thousand. 

As it had become more and more evident that New 
York was to be the theatre of the war, further prepara- 
tions had been made to defend the city and neighborhood. 
Pennsylvania had sent four continental regiments, com- 
manded respectively by Colonels St. Clair, Shee, Anthony 
Wayne, and Magaw; three provincial battalions, under 
Colonels Miles, Cadwallader, and Atlee, and rifle regi- 
ments under Colonels Hand and Allen. These were all 
commanded by Brigadier-general Mifflin, of that State. 
Virginia sent troops under Major Leitch, and from 
Maryland came the brave company known as Smallwood's 
regiment, who afterward distinguished themselves in 
many conflicts, while from Delaware came a regiment un- 
der Colonel Hazlet. In addition to these, Pennsylvania, 


Maryland, and Delaware furnished troops to form what chap. 
was called "a flying camp," a sort of reserve, stationed 1 

in New Jersey, in a favorable position, and ready to act 1776 - 
in emergencies. This was under Brigadier-general Mercer. 

In the troops thus drawn together from different parts 
of the country there were marked differences in appear- 
ance and discipline. The New England officers were most 
of them farmers and mechanics — brave, honorable, but 
plain men. Their soldiers were men of the same stamp; 
in many cases their intimates and associates in private 
life. Their intercourse with each other was less formal 
than was consistent with strict military discipline. They 
met not as mere soldiers, but as a band of brethren, united 
in a cause in which each had a personal interest. With 
the portion of the army drawn from the other States, the 
case was different; with them there was a marked dis- 
tinction between the officers and soldiers. The officers 
were brave and honorable also, but city bred — " gen- 
tlemen/' as they called themselves — and from wealthy 
families, while the "common soldiers, for the most part, 
were a very inferior set." Sectional jealousies arose. The 
Mary landers, in " scarlet and buff," looked down upon 
the rustic soldiery in " homespun," while the officers of 
the other provinces were inclined to despise their asso- 
ciates from New England. These jealousies became so 
great an evil that Washington strongly reprobated them 
in general orders. 

As the British were masters of the bay of New York, 
it was feared they would surround the American army in 
the city and take possession of the Hudson, that great 
highway to the interior. To prevent this, General Mifflin 
was sent with the Pennsylvania troops to guard the forts 
at the north end of the island. One of these stood just 
below, the other just above Kingsbridge, the only avenue 
to the mainland; they were known as Forts Washington 
and Independence. On the west side of the Hudson, 



^jcx nearly opposite Fort Washington, stood Fort Lee. Near 
the entrance to the Highlands, and just opposite the 
well-known promontory of Anthony's Nose, was Fort 
Montgomery. Six miles higher up the river was Fort 

The posts last named were under the command of 
Colonel James Clinton. His brother George commanded 
the militia of Ulster and Orange counties. These brothers 
were of Irish descent, natives of New York, and their 
ancestors were identified with the early settlements on 
the Hudson. They had been soldiers from their youth — 
like many of the Revolutionary officers — they had been 
trained in the French war, in which one of them had 
served as a captain at twenty, and the other as a lieuten- 
ant at seventeen years of age. The elder, James, had 
also served under Montgomery at the capture of Mon- 
treal, while George had been active in the service of his 
country as a member of the New York Legislature, and 
as a delegate to the Continental Congress. 

In spite of obstructions thrown across the channel, two 
British vessels, the Phoenix and the Rose, passed up the 
Hudson. The latter was commanded by the notorious 
Captain Wallace, who had pillaged the shores of Rhode 
Island. They passed the forts unharmed, and gallantly 
returned the fire from Fort Washington. As they boldly 
pushed their way up the river, their appearance created 
great alarm. Signal guns were heard from the forts, and 
July false rumors increased the general excitement. The sturdy 
12, yeomanry left their harvests uncut in their fields and has- 
tened to join the forces under Clinton to defend the passes 
of the Highlands. These fears were in a great measure 
groundless. The vessels quietly anchored here and there, 
while their boats took soundings; but the event proved the 
inefficiency of the defences at the mouth of the Hudson. 

The Americans, from the Jersey shore and the city 


continued to watch, with intense interest, the movements chap. 

of the enemy on Staten Island. A spy reported that 1 

they were about to land on Long Island, with twenty 1776 - 
thousand men, and take possession of the Heights, which 
commanded New York; he had heard the orders read, 
and the conversation of the officers in the camp. The Aug. 
next day the roar of artillery was heard from Long Isl- 22, 
and, and soon the news reached the city that the enemy 
had landed at Gravesend Bay. 

General Greene had thrown up a line of intrenchments 
and redoubts across the neck of the peninsula upon which 
stood the village of Brooklyn. He had made himself ac- 
quainted with the ground in the neighborhood, and nearly 
completed his plans for defence, when he was suddenly 
taken ill with a raging fever. He was still unable to be 
at his post, and Sullivan held the temporary command. 

Between the American intrenchments and Gravesend 
Bay lay a range of thickly-wooded hills that stretched 
across the island from south-west to north-east. Over 
and around these hills were three roads: one along the 
shore passed around their south-western base; another 
crossed over their centre toward Flatbush; while a third, 
which was near the north-east extremity of the range, 
passed over them from the village of Bedford to Jamaica. 

Nine thousand of the British had already landed at 
Gravesend, under the command of Sir Henry Clinton and 
his associates, the Earls of Cornwallis and Percy, and 
Generals Grant and Erskine. Colonel Hand, who was 
stationed there, retired on their approach to a position 
that commanded the central or Flatbush road. The 
British continued to land more forces secretly in the night 
time, but for several days nothing occurred, except skir- 
mishing between the enemy and the troops at the out- 
posts, along the wooded hills. 

At the first alarm the Commander-in-chief had hast- 
ened to send to the aid of Sullivan a reinforcement of six 



xxx battalions, — all he could well spare. He exhorted these 
soldiers to be cool, and not to fire too soon. They ap- 
peared in high spirits, though most of them were going 
into battle for the first time. 
Aug* On the twenty-fourth, Washington, somewhat relieved 
from his apprehensions with regard to the city, crossed 
over to Brooklyn to inspect the lines. He was pained to 
observe a great want of system among the officers, and of 
discipline among the soldiers. A strong red oub t had been 
thrown up at the central pass, but the plans for defence 
were imperfect and affairs in much confusion. 

On his return he appointed General Putnam to the 
command, with orders to remedy these evils. The "brave 
old man " hastened with joy to the post of danger. 

From day to day the number of tents on Staten Island 
became gradually less, and one by one ships dropped 
silently down to the narrows. Washington became con- 
vinced that the British designed to attack the lines at 
Brooklyn. He sent over further reinforcements, among 
which was Haslet's Delaware regiment — troops whose sol- 
dierly bearing and discipline had won his special regard. 

He proceeded in person to aid Putnam with his coun- 
sel. On the evening of the twenty-sixth he returned to 
New York, perplexed and depressed, for a dark cloud 
of uncertainty and danger hung over the future. 

His fears were soon realized. On that very evening 
the British proceeded to carry out their plan of attack. 
By this plan, Sir Henry Clinton was to march along by- 
paths across to the eastern or Jamaica road, to seize the 
pass in the Bedford hills, thence proceed onward, and 
turn the left flank of the Americans; General Grant was 
to pass along the shore-road and attack them on the 
right, while General De Heister, with his Hessians, was 
to threaten the central pass, where Colonel Hand was 
stationed with his riflemen. 

At nine o'clock Sir Henry, guided by a Long Island 


Tory, commenced his march toward the eastern road; ^hap. 

about midnight, Colonel Grant's division moved in an 

opposite direction, along the western or shore-road. 1776 - 
Colonel Atlee, who was stationed there with a small 
company of militia, was driven back from point to point. 
News of Grant's approach soon reached General Putnam. 
Lord Stirling, with Smallwood's and Haslet's regiments, 
was sent to the relief of Colonel Atlee. About daylight 
they came up with him, and soon the front of the ap- 
proaching enemy appeared in view. 

Presently the redoubt at the central pass was can- 
nonaded from Flatbush. This firing attracted the atten- 
tion of Sullivan, who went to the relief of Colonel Hand. 

Thus the object of the British was in part accom- 
plished. The attention of the Americans was diverted, 
their troops were scattered beyond the lines; silently and 
rapidly the forces of Clinton were moving on to cut off 27. 
their return. He had found the eastern pass unguarded, 
and continued his march undiscovered, and now signal- 
guns announced that he was close upon the American 
lines. The Hessians advanced at once upon the redoubt. 
Colonel Grant pushed on. Sullivan and Stirling both 
perceived their danger and endeavored to retreat, but in 
vain. The enemy had gained their rear; they were com- 
pletely entrapped and hemmed in. It is true, a portion 
of Stirling's troops escaped by fording a creek; the re- 
mainder, most of whom were of Smallwood's regiment, 
took a brave but desperate stand. A scene of carnage 
ensued; more than two hundred and fifty of them were 
slain within sight of the lines. Some of these were most 
cruelly and wantonly bayoneted by the merciless Hes- 
sians. At length Stirling sought De Heister and sur- 
rendered. Sullivan's forces were driven back and forth 
by the two divisions of the enemy, and treated in a like 
barbarous manner; some were taken prisoners, among 
whom was Sullivan himself; others fought their way 


chap, back to the lines. Some portion of this conflict took 
— place amid the hills now embraced in the beautiful ceme- 
1776. tery of Greenwood. 

Washington reached the spot just in time to witness 
the catastrophe. As from the lines he saw his brave 
troops surrounded and cruelly slaughtered — touched to 
the heart with deep and humane sorrow, he wrung his 
hands and exclaimed: " Good God! what brave fellows 
I must lose this day! " 

The loss of the Americans in this battle was very se- 
vere; of the five thousand engaged, nearly two thousand 
were slain or taken prisoners, while out of sixteen thou- 
sand the British lost but about four hundred. They 
made no assault on the American lines, but encamped 
directly in front of them, and prepared to carry them 
by regular approaches. 

Although reinforced the next day by Mifflin's and 
Glover's regiments, the Americans had still a very inferior 
force. On the morning of the twenty-ninth, as General 
Mifflin, with Adjutant-general Reed and Colonel Grayson, 
was inspecting the outposts at Red Hook, a light breeze, 
that dispersed the fog for a moment, revealed to them the 
enemy's fleet. They were justly alarmed; the unusual 
stir among the boats convinced them that some great 
movement was on foot. It was probable the enemy in- 
tended to pass up the bay and surround them. They hast- 
ened to Washington, who summoned a council of war, 
and it was decided that the army should that night be 
secretly withdrawn from the island. It was a hazardous 
enterprise, and much was to be done; boats were to be 
collected and preparations for the removal of nine thou- 
sand men were to be made, in the face of the enemy, rap- 
idly, and yet so silently and cautiously, as not to awaken 
the slightest suspicion. It was already noon, but the or- 
ders were issued, and all the boats around Manhattan 
Island were impressed and in readiness at eight o'clock 



that evening. And at the silent midnight hour the regi- °hap- 

ments, one by one, began to march to the ferry, and in ' 

boats manned by Glover's regiment, most of whom were 1776 - 
Marblehead fishermen, they were borne to the city. By 
eight o'clock the entire army, with their military stores, 
cattle, horses, and carts, were safely landed. 

Several incidents occurred, which have a peculiar in- 
terest as connected with this famous retreat. General 
Mifflin, who was stationed nearest to the enemy's lines, 
was to remain at his post until the others had embarked. 
Colonel Scammell, who was sent to hasten forward a par- 
ticular regiment, mistook his orders and sent on Mifflin 
with his whole covering party; and great was the conster- 
nation of the Commander-in-chief when they joined the 
others at the ferry. "This is a dreadful mistake, General 
Mifflin," said he, "and unless the troops can regain the 
lines before their absence is discovered by the enemy, the 
most disastrous consequences are to be apprehended.' ' 
They returned to their post with all expedition. "This 
was a trying business to young soldiers," says one of their 
number, "it was, nevertheless, strictly complied with, 
and we remained not less than an hour in the lines be- 
fore we received the second order to abandon them." * 

A story is told of a woman, wife of a suspected Tory, 
who lived near the ferry. She sent her negro servant to 
the British with news that the Americans were retreating. 
He reached the Hessian outposts in safety, but they did 
not understand his language, and detained him a close 
prisoner till morning. Then an English officer, who exam- 
ined him, learned the truth, but it was too late. The 
British did not reach the ferry till the last boat was be- 
yond musket shot. It was an August morning; but for Aug. 
a dense fog the boats which left after daylight must have 
been discovered. The safe retreat of the patriot army 

1 Graydon's Memoirs. 


chap, was by many attributed to a peculiar Providence. It was 

1 a trust in this Providence, a calm assurance of ultimate 

1776. success under its guiding care, that strengthened the 
hearts of the patriots in their darkest hour of trial. 

A few days after this retreat, Admiral Howe, who 
hoped the Americans would now accept peace on his 
terms, sent General Sullivan on parole with a letter to 
Congress. He invited them to send, in an informal man- 
ner, a committee to confer with him on some measures of 
reconciliation. He would receive them as private gentle- 
men, as the ministry would not acknowledge the legal ex- 
istence of Congress. Accordingly John Adams, Doctor 
Franklin, and Edward Rutledge, held a conference with 
him at a house on Staten Island, opposite Amboy. 

Doctor Franklin and Lord Howe had often conversed 
together in England on the present difficulties. His lord- 
ship made known the terms on which peace could be ob- 
tained. These terms were unconditional submission. 
When told that the Congress and people would treat on 
no other basis than that " of a free and independent na- 
tion," he expressed regret that he should be compelled 
to distress the Americans. Doctor Franklin reciprocated 
his good will, but quietly remarked, " The Americans will 
endeavor to lessen the pain you may feel, by taking good 
care of themselves." Thus ended the much talked-of in- 
terview. The result was good. The people were strength- 
ened in the belief that England had no terms to offer, 
which would lead them to regret the course they had 

The British, now in possession of Long Island, ex- 
tended their lines along the East River, and stationed in 
them a large number of Hessian troops, of whom rein- 
forcements had come within a few days. The defeat at 
Brooklyn had a very disheartening effect on the minds 
of the militia, great numbers of whom deserted, and soon 


Washington's army was less than twenty thousand men, chap. 

and on many of these little dependence could be placed. 1 

The question soon arose, Should New York be defended 1776 - 
to the last, or should it be evacuated? Some proposed 
to burn it to the ground, as " two-thirds of the property 
belonged to Tories," rather than it should furnish com- 
fortable winter-quarters for the enemy. Congress de- 
cided that the city should not be burned. 

The sick and wounded, in the meanwhile, were trans- 
ferred to Orange, in New Jersey, and most of the military 
stores were removed to Dobbs' Ferry, that the garrison 
might be unenumbered should they be obliged to make a 
hasty retreat. It was decided by a council of war that 
Putnam, with five thousand troops, should remain to gar- 
rison New York, while General Heath, with the main 
body, was to fortify the heights in the neighborhood of 
Kingsbridge, where, presently, Washington transferred 
his headquarters. 

Washington was anxious to learn the designs of the 
enemy on Long Island. At the suggestion of Colonel 
Knowlton, Nathan Hale volunteered to go on the perilous 
errand. Hale was a native of Connecticut, a graduate of 
Yale College, had thoughts of studying for the ministry, 
and at the commencement of the war was a teacher of 
youth. After the battle of Lexington he hastened to Bos- 
ton to join the army, in which he served as a lieutenant. 
On one occasion, to induce his men to continue their term 
of enlistment, he offered them his own pay. Soon after 
he received from Congress the commission of captain. 

He passed to the island, obtained the knowledge de- 
sired, notes of which he took in Latin. As he was return- 
ing he fell in with a party of the enemy, was recognized 
by a Tory relative, seized and taken to Howe's head- 
quarters, and, without much ceremony, was ordered to 
be executed the next morning. 

The provost-marshal, named Cunningham, treated 


chap, him with great brutality, denied him a Bible, tore up the 

letter he had written to his mother, giving as a reason, 

1776, " that the rebels should never know they had a man 
who could die with such firmness.' ' The last words of 
Hale were: " I only regret that I have but one life to lose 
for my country." 

The entire British fleet was within cannon-shot of the 
city, and some of their vessels had passed up the Hudson 
and East rivers. They had landed troops on the islands 
at the mouth of Harlem river, and there erected a bat- 
tery. Soon British and Hessians, under Clinton and Col- 
onel Donop, crossed over from the camp on Long Island 
to Kipp's Bay, three miles above the city. Washington 
heard the cannonading in that quarter, and, as he was on 
the way to learn the cause, met the militia, who, on the 
first approach of the enemy had fled in sad confusion, fol- 
lowed by two brigades of Connecticut troops, who that 
very morning had been sent to support them. He strove 
to rally them, but in vain; neither entreaties nor com- 
mands had any effect upon these panic-stricken soldiers. 
Mortified and indignant at their cowardice, he dashed his 
hat upon the ground, and exclaimed: "Are these the 
men with whom I am to defend America? " The enemy 
in pursuit were now not more than eighty yards from him, 
but in his excitement he forgot his own safety, and had 
not an attendant seized the bridle of his horse and hurried 
15. him from the field, he must have fallen into their hands. 
Washington ordered General Heath to secure Harlem 
Heights, and sent an express order to Putnam to evacuate 
the city and retire to those heights with all speed; for he 
feared that the enemy would extend their lines across the 
island from Kipp's Bay, and cut off his retreat. Fortu- 
nately the British did not pursue their advantage. Put- 
nam retreated along the west side of the island by the 
Bloomingdale road. His line, encumbered with women 
and children, was exposed to the fire of the ships lying 


in the Hudson. He ordered, encouraged and aided, and chap. 

by his extraordinary exertions, it is said, saved his corps . , 

from entire destruction. However, his heavy artillery 1776 - 
and three hundred men fell into the hands of the enemy. 

Now the British had possession of the city, and the 
main body of the Americans was encamped on the north- 
ern portion of the island, across which they threw a 
double row of lines, about four and a half miles below 
Kingsbridge. Two miles above these lines was Fort 
Washington, and a few miles below them were the Brit- 
ish lines, extending also from river to river. 

On the sixteenth the enemy made an attack upon the Sept 
American advanced posts, but were repulsed and driven 
off by Virginia and Connecticut troops, but their com- 
manders, Major Leitch, and the brave Colonel Knowlton, 
one of the heroes of Bunker Hill, both fell in this en- 
counter. The spirits of the soldiers, depressed by repeated 
defeats and disasters, were somewhat revived by this 
successful skirmish. 

The armies watched each other for some weeks. Many 
were sick in the American camp; "it was impossible to 
find proper hospitals ; and they lay about in almost 
every barn, stable, shed, and even under the fences and 

Sir William Howe now began to collect forces at 
Throg's Neck, a peninsula in the Sound about nine miles 
from the American camp. This peninsula was separated 
from the mainland by a narrow creek and a marsh, which 
was overflowed at high tide. By means of the bridge and 
fords, Howe hoped to pass over to the mainland and gain 
the rear of the Americans, and cut off their communica- 
tion with New England, whence they received most of 
their supplies. His plans, though well laid, were defeated. 
General Heath was on the alert; he was joined by Colonel 
William Prescott, who commanded at Bunker Hill, and 
by Hand with his riflemen, and others; every pass was 


chap, guarded, and the planks of the bridge removed. Howe, 

. with his usual caution, waited six days for reinforcements. 

1776. By this time General Lee, now more a favorite than ever, 
had returned from his successful campaign at the South, 
and Sullivan, Stirling, and Morgan had been restored to 
the army by exchange. While Howe thus delayed, it was 
decided, in a council of war, that every American post on 
New York Island, excepting Fort Washington, should be 
abandoned. This plan was promptly executed. The 
army, in four divisions, commanded by Generals Lee, 
Q ct Heath, Sullivan, and Lincoln, withdrew across Kings- 
23. bridge, and gradually concentrated their forces in a forti- 
fied camp near the village of White Plains. 

Still hoping to gain their rear, Howe moved on toward 
New Rochelle, where he was reinforced by light-horse 
troops, and Hessians under General Knyphausen, who 
had recently arrived from Europe. He advanced upon 
the camp. Scarcely had the Americans intrenched them- 
selves at White Plains when a rumor of his approach 
reached them. On the twenty-eighth, as Washington, 
accompanied by his general officers, was recounoitring the 
heights in the neighborhood, the alarm was given that the 
enemy had driven in the picket-guards, and were within 
the camp. When he reached headquarters he found the 
army already posted in order of battle. The enemy did 
not advance upon them; they turned their attention to a 
height known as Chatterton's Hill, which lay a little south 
of the camp, and was separated from it by the river Bronx. 
This height was occupied by sixteen hundred men under 
General McDougall, and the attack was made at this 
point. After a feeble resistance, the militia fled, but 
Hazlet's and Smallwood's regiments, so famous on Long 
Island, made a brave stand, and repeatedly repulsed the 
enemy; but, at length, overpowered by numbers, they 
retreated across the bridge to the camp. This battle of 


White Plains was a spirited encounter, in which each of chap. 
the parties lost about four hundred men. 

The British took possession of the hill, and began to 1776 - 
intrench themselves; and now, for the third time, the 
" armies lay looking at each other; " they were within 
long cannon-shot. 

Could the undisciplined, war-worn, and disheartened 
Americans hope to escape from a force so well equipped 
and so powerful? That night was to them an anxious 
one. It was passed in severe labor; they doubled their in- 
trenchments and threw up redoubts. Some of these were 
has tily constructed of stalks of corn,pulled up from a neigh- 
boring field, with the earth clinging to the roots. These 
piled with the roots outward, presented an appearance 
so formidable that Howe, deceived as to their strength, 
did not attack them, but ordered up reinforcements. 

Howe's cautious conduct of the war has been severely 
criticised, and various reasons have been assigned, but it 
has never been satisfactorily explained; whatever his 
reasons may have been, his delay at this time cost him 
another golden opportunity. Washington withdrew his 
army in the night-time to the heights of North Castle, a 
strong position, about five miles distant. His enemy had Nov 
again eluded him, and Howe retired with his forces to 4. 
Dobbs' Ferry, on the Hudson. 

This movement awakened new fears — did he intend 
to pass down the river to Fort Washington, or to cross 
into New Jersey? " He must attempt something," 
writes Washington, " on account of his reputation, for 
what has he done yet with his great army? " 

To meet the threatened dangers a new disposition was 
made of the American forces. Lee, with a portion, was to 
remain at North Castle; Putnam, with another, was to 
guard the west side of the Hudson; Heath, the guardian 
of the passes of the Highlands, was to encamp at Peeks- 
kill; while General Greene commanded at Fort Lee, and 


chap. Colonel Magaw, with the Pennsylvania troops, occupied 

. '. Fort Washington. 

1776. With respect to maintaining Fort Washington, there 
was a diversity of opinion, as neither that fort nor the ob- 
structions across the channel had prevented the passage 
of vessels up the Hudson. Washington, with Lee, Reed, 
and others, was in favor of withdrawing the troops at 
once. He addressed a letter to Greene, in which he ad- 
vised this course, but left the matter to his discretion. 
Greene and Magaw, who were both on the spot, and knew 
the condition of the fort, decided that it could be main- 
tained, and made preparations accordingly. This was, 
as the result proved, an injudicious decision. The post 
was comparatively useless; it was accessible on three sides 
from the water; the fort was very small, and would not 
contain more than a thousand men, the lines were very 
extensive, and the garrison insufficient to man them. 

Washington visited the posts along the river. When 
he arrived at Fort Lee, he was greatly disappointed to find 
that the troops had not been withdrawn from Fort Wash- 
ington; and before he could make a personal examina- 
tion the fort was invested. It was attacked on all sides. 
The garrison, after a brave resistance, which cost the 
enemy four hundred men, was driven from the outer lines, 
and crowded into the fort, where they were unable to fight 
to advantage, and were exposed to the shells of the enemy. 
Further resistance was impossible, and Colonel Magaw 
surrendered all his troops, two thousand in number. Dur- 
ing this action the troops of Cadwallader especially dis- 
tinguished themselves. Of the officers, Colonel Baxter, 
of Pennsylvania, fell while cheering on his men. 

Nov. From the New Jersey shore the Commander-in-chief 

witnessed a portion of the battle, and again he saw some 

of his brave troops bayoneted by the merciless Hessians, 

and wept, it is said, " with the tenderness of a child." 

It was resolved to abandon Fort Lee, but before it 


was fully accomplished, Cornwallis, with a force six thou- chap. 

sand strong, crossed the Hudson to the foot of the rocky 1 

cliffs known as the Palisades. The force sent down from 1776 - 
North Castle was encamped at Hackensack, which lay be- 
tween the river of that name and the Hudson, and Wash- 
ington saw at once that the object of the enemy was to 
form a line across the country, and hem them in between 
the rivers. To avoid this he retreated, with all his forces, 
including the garrison at Fort Lee, to secure the bridge 
over the Hackensack, thence across the Passaic to the 
neighborhood of Newark. This retreat was made in such 
haste that nearly all the artillery was abandoned, the 
tents left standing, and the fires burning. That night 
the enemy found shelter in the tents of the deserted 

From Newark the army moved on across the Raritan 
to Brunswick, thence to Princeton, where they left twelve 
hundred men, under Lord Stirling, to check the enemy, 
while the main body proceeded to Trenton, and thence 
beyond the Delaware. The enemy pressed so closely upon 
them that the advance of Cornwallis entered Newark at 
one end as their rear-guard passed out at the other, and 
often during this march, " the American rear-guard, em- 
ployed in pulling up bridges, was within sight and shot 
of the British pioneers, sent forward to rebuild them." 

Thus less than four thousand men — a mere shadow 
of an army — poorly clad, with a scant supply of blankets, 
without tents, and enfeebled for want of wholesome food, 
evaded, by an orderly retreat, a well appointed force that 
far outnumbered them, well fed, well clothed, well disci- 
plined, and flushed with victory. When the enemy 
reached the Delaware, they were unable to cross over, 
not a boat was to be found; Washington had taken the 
precaution to have them all secured for a distance of 
seventy miles, and transferred to the west side. Thus 
ended this famous retreat, remarkable for the manner in 



xxx/ which it was conducted, and the circumstances under 
which it took place. 

Cornwallis was anxious to procure boats and push on 
to Philadelphia, but Howe decided to wait till the river 
should be frozen. Meanwhile, the Hessians were stationed 
along the eastern bank for some miles above and below 

During his harassed march, Washington had sent re- 
peated and urgent orders to Lee to hasten to his aid with 
reinforcements. Notwithstanding the emergency , which 
he well knew, Lee lingered for two or three weeks on the 
east side of the Hudson, and when actually on the march, 
proceeded so slowly, that he did not reach Morristown 
until the eleventh of December. 

Lee had a high opinion of his own military abilities, 
and evidently desired an independent command. The 
deference which the Americans had paid to his judgment 
and the importance they attached to his presence in the 
army, had nattered his natural self-conceit; his success 
at the South, and the correctness of his views in relation 
to Fort Washington, had strengthened his influence over 
them, and now, in this time of depression and discourage- 
ment, he hoped by some brilliant exploit to retrieve the 
fortunes of the army, and gain more glory to himself. In 
this mood he writes: "I am going into the Jerseys for 
the salvation of America." And again: "lam in hopes 
to reconquer, if I may so express myself, the Jerseys; 
it was really in the hands of the enemy before my arri- 
val.' ' While he pondered over these vain projects, he dis- 
regarded the authority of the Commander-in-chief, and, 
to say the least, subjected him to cruel inconvenience. 
We have no reason to believe that Lee was untrue to the 
cause he had embraced,but his wayward conduct, at this 
time and afterward, has diminished the grateful respect 
with which Americans would have cherished his memory. 



Discouragements. — Effects of Howe's Proclamation. — Affairs on 
Lake Champlain. — Heroism of Arnold. — Carleton retires to 
Canada. — Capture of Lee. — Troops from the Northern Army.— 
Battle of Trenton. — Battle of Princeton. — Death of Mercer. — ■ 
Washington retires to Morristown. — Cornwallis in his Lines at 
Brunswick. — Encouragements. — Putnam at Princeton. — Ill- 
treatment of American Prisoners; their Exchange under Nego- 
tiation. — Appointment of General Officers. — Muhlenburg. — 
Wayne. — Conway. — Medical Department. — The Navy. — Maraud- 
ing Expeditions. — Peekskill. — Danbury. — Death of Wooster. — 
Retaliation at Sag Harbor. — Efforts to recruit the Army. — 
Schuyler and Gates. — The National Flag. 

As the news of this retreat went abroad, the friends of the chap. 

cause were discouraged. What remained of the army was 1 

fast wasting away; their enlistments were about to ex- 1776. 
pire, and the militia, especially that of New Jersey, re- 
fused to take the field in behalf of a ruined enterprise. 
Many thought the States could not maintain their inde- 
pendence; but there were a few who, confident in the 
justice of their cause, were firm and undaunted. Among 
these was Washington. In a conversation with General 
Mercer he remarked: "That even if driven beyond the 
Alleghanies, he would stand to the last for the liberties 
of his country." 

Howe felt certain the game was his own; he had only 
to bide his time. He sent forth another proclamation, in 


xxxf which he called upon all insurgents to disband, and Con- 
— gress to lay down their usurped authority; and offered 
pardon to all who should accept the terms within sixty 
days. Many persons, most of whom were wealthy, com- 
plied. Among these were two of the delegates from Penn- 
sylvania to the late Continental Congress, and the presi- 
dent of the New Jersey Convention which had sanctioned 
the Declaration of Independence, and others who had 
taken an active part in favor of the Revolution. For ten 
days after the proclamation was issued, from two to three 
hundred came every day to take the required oath. 

The movements of the enemy, and the effect produced 
by the proclamation, caused great excitement in Phila- 
delphia. Putnam, who had been sent to command there, 
advised that, during this season of peril, Congress should 
Dec. bold its sessions elsewhere, and it adj ourned to meet again 
12 - at Baltimore. 

At this time a reinforcement of seven regiments was 
on its way from Canada. We now return to the forces 
on Lake Champlain, where we left Schuyler and Gates 
in a sort of joint command. 

The army driven out of Canada, broken, diseased, and 
dispirited, rested first at Crown Toint and then at Ticon- 
deroga. During his retreat, Sullivan wisely secured or 
destroyed all the boats on Lake Champlain. Its shores 
were an unbroken wilderness; thus the British were un- 
able to follow up their pursuit by land or by water. 

Sir Guy Carleton, flushed with victory, and full of 
ardor, determined to overcome all obstacles and push his 
victory to the utmost. He would obtain the command 
of the Lakes Champlain and George, and by that means 
subdue northern New York, and then proceed to take 
possession of Albany, where he hoped to take up his win- 
ter-quarters. From that point he hoped, by means of 
the Hudson, to co-operate with the Howes at New York, 
to cut off the communication between New England and 


the States west and south. This he believed would bring chap. 
the contest to a speedy close, and secure to himself a 

share of the honors of the victory. He exerted himself 1776 - 
with so much energy and success that at the end of three 
months he had a well-equipped fleet. The frames of five 
large vessels that had been brought from England were 
put together at St. John's on the Sorel. These, with 
twenty smaller craft and some armed boats, which had 
been dragged up the rapids of that river, were now 
launched upon the lake. 

The Americans were not idle. General Gates author- 
ized Arnold, who was somewhat of a seaman, to fit out 
and command a flotilla. Arnold threw himself into the 
enterprise with all the energy of his nature, and soon was 
master of a force, in vessels and men, nearly half as large 
as that of Carle ton. He moved his little fleet across a 
narrow strait between Valcour Island and the mainland, 
in such a position that the whole force of the enemy could 
not be made to bear upon him at one time ; there he awaited 
the contest. As Carleton, with a favorable wind, swept 
briskly up the lake, he passed the island behind which 
Arnold's flotilla lay snugly anchored, before he observed 
it. The wind was such that the larger ships could not 
beat up the strait, but the smaller vessels advanced, and 
a desperate encounter ensued, which was continued until 
evening came on. Then Carleton arranged his squadron 
so as to intercept Arnold's escape and awaited the morn- 
ing; when, if his larger vessels could be made to bear, he 
felt certain of the prize. The night proved dark and 
cloudy; favored by this circumstance, Arnold slipped by 
the enemy, and at daylight was some miles on his way to 
Crown Point. But as most of his vessels were in bad con- 
dition they could make but little headway; only six 
reached that place in safety, two were sunk, and the oth- Q 
ere were overtaken by Carleton a few miles from the Point, 6. 


chap, where one was captured with the crew. Arnold fought 
— 1— desperately, until his galley, the Congress, was cut to 
1776. pieces and one-third of her crew killed. Determined that 
his flag should not be struck, he ordered his vessels to be 
grounded and set on fire. When this was done he, with 
his men, leaped out and waded to the shore, and by well- 
directed rifle-shots kept the enemy at bay till the vessels 
were consumed and with them the still waving flag; then 
giving a triumphant cheer, they moved off through the 
woods to Crown Point, where they found the remnant of 
the fleet. They stayed only to destroy the houses and the 
stores at the fort, and then embarked for Ticonderoga. 
Before the enemy arrived Gates, who commanded at that 
post, had so strengthened his position that Carleton de- 
cided not to attack it, but to retire to Canada and post- 
pone his wintering in Albany to some future day. 

As the forts on the Lakes were safe for the present, 
General Schuyler detached the seven regiments, of which 
we have spoken, to the relief of Washington. When Lee 
learned that three of these regiments were at Peekskill 
he ordered them to join him at Morristown. The remain- 
ing four, under General Gates, were passing through 
northern New Jersey toward Trenton. 

Gates was detained by a severe snow-storm, and un- 
certain as to the exact position of the army, he sent for- 
ward Major Wilkinson with a letter to Washington, 
stating his position and asking what route he should take 
to the camp. Wilkinson learned that Washington had 
crossed the Delaware; and as General Lee, the second in 
command, was at Morristown, he made his way thither. 
Just at this time Lee with a small guard was quartered 
for the night at a tavern at Baskenridge, three miles from 
his army, which was left under the command of Sullivan. 
Here he was joined by Wilkinson on the morning of the 
D ec . thirteenth of December. Lee took his breakfast in a 
13 - leisurely manner, discussed the news, and had j ust finished 


a letter to General Gates when, much to his surprise, the chap 
house was surrounded by a party of British dragoons. He 1 

had not dreamed that an enemy was near, and his guards 1776 - 
were off duty. But a Tory of the neighborhood had 
learned the evening before where he intended to lodge 
and breakfast, and had, during the night, ridden eighteen 
miles to Brunswick to inform the enemy and to pilot 
them to the spot. For a few moments all was confusion. 
The dragoons were calling for the General, and the Gen- 
eral was calling for the guards, who were scattered in all 
directions. The scene was soon closed. General Lee 
without a hat, clad in a blanket-coat and slippers, was 
mounted on a horse that stood at the door, and borne 
off in triumph to the British army at Brunswick." 

Had Lee, by seme fortunate accident, succeeded in 
retrieving the fortunes of the army, unsuccessful under 
Washington, it is probable that the wishes of the people 
might have turned toward him as commander-in-chief. 
For men are too apt to judge of those who live in the 
same age with themselves merely by their success; and 
too often they yield to what is self-confident and assum- 
ing, the honor and respect due to sober judgment and 
high moral principles. 

Under these circumstances, Lee's success would have 
proved most unfortunate for the country, for he had 
neither the judgment nor the principle necessary to guide 
it safely through the approaching crisis. 

After the capture of Lee the troops under Sullivan 
moved on at once to join the Commander-in-chief. Gen- 
eral Gates, who had left his regiments at Morristown, 
reached the camp on the same day. As Washington had 
now a force of about six thousand men fit for service, he 
was anxious to strike a blow that should revive the cour- 
age of the army and the people before the disbandment 
of those troops whose terms of enlistments were about to 


chap, expire. The prospect of success was doubtful, but he 

. . felt that, under the circumstances, inaction would ruin 

1776 - the cause, and defeat could do no more. 

Howe was in New York; Cornwallis, who was on the 
eve of embarking for England, was there also. The Brit- 
ish forces in New Jersey, though strong, were much scat- 
tered. The Hessians, who were in the advance, were 
carelessly cantoned at different points along the eastern 
bank of the Delaware. Colonel Donop was stationed at 
Burlington, and his forces were quartered above and be- 
low that point. Colonel Rahl, who had distinguished 
himself at White Plains and Fort Washington, was at 
Trenton with a force of fifteen hundred men. This brave 
but careless commander took his ease, enjoyed his music 
and bath, and when it was proposed to throw up works 
upon which to mount cannon in readiness against an 
assault, said merrily: "Pooh pooh! an assault by the 
rebels! Let them come; we'll at them with the bay- 
onet." The Hessians were a terror to the people; they 
plundered indiscriminately Whig and Tory. The Amer- 
ican soldiers hated them intensely for their savage bay- 
onetings on the battle-field, and were eager to avenge 
the outrages inflicted upon their friends and countrymen. 

Washington proposed to cross the river and surprise 
the Hessians at different points. A council of war was 
held, and Christmas night was fixed upon for the enter- 
prise. By the plan proposed Washington himself was to 
cross nine miles above Trenton and march down upon 
that place. Colonel Ewing, with the Pennsylvania mili- 
tia, was to cross a mile below the town and secure the 
bridge over Assunpink creek, at the south side of it, and 
thus cut off the enemy's retreat. Adjutant-general Reed 
and Colonel Cadwallader, who were stationed at Bristol, 
nearly opposite Burlington, were to cross below that place 




and advance against Count Donop's division. The at- chap. 
tacks were to be simultaneous, and five o'clock on the — — 
morning of the twenty-sixth was the hour agreed upon. 1776 

Just after sunset, on Christmas night, the division 
under Washington, twenty-four hundred in number, 
began to pass over. With this division was a train of 
twenty field-pieces under the command of Colonel Knox. 
The river was filled with floating ice, and the weather 
was intensely cold. The boats were guided by Colonel 
Glover and his regiment of Marblehead fishermen, the 
same who had guided the boats on the memorable re- 
treat from Long Island. The night was extremely dark 
and tempestuous, and the floating ice and strong wind 
drove them out of their course again and again. 

Washington had hoped to be on the march by mid- 
night, but hour after hour passed, and it was four o'clock 
before the artillery was landed and the troops ready to 
move on. They marched in two divisions, one led by 
Washington (with whom were Generals Greene, Stirling, 
Mercer and Stephen), by a circuitous route to the north 
of the town, while the other, under Sullivan, with whom 
was Colonel John Stark, with his New Hampshire band, 
was to advance by a direct road along the river to the 
west and south side. Sullivan was to halt at a certain 
point to allow time for the main division to make the 

It was eight o'clock before this division reached the 
immediate neighborhood of Trenton; they had struggled 
through a terrible storm of hail and snow; it had impeded 2 e>? 
their march, but it had also aided to conceal their move- 
ments from the enemy. Washington, who had pushed on 
with the advance, asked of a man who was chopping wood 
by the road-side the way to the Hessian picket. He an- 
swered gruffly, " I don't know," and went on with his 
work. " You may tell," said Captain Forrest of the ar- 
tillery, " for that is General Washington." " God bless 


chap, and prosper you" exclaimed the man, raising his hands 

to heaven, " the picket is in that house, and the sentry 
1776 - stands near that tree." 

In a few minutes the picket-guards were driven in. 
Late as it was, the Hessians were completely surprised. 
According to their custom, they had indulged freely in 
the festivities of Christmas, and were resting thoughtless 
of danger, when the drums suddenly beat to arms. All 
was confusion. At the first alarm, Colonel Rahl, who 
learned from the lieutenant of the picket-guard that a 
large force was advancing to surround him, endeavored to 
rally his panic-stricken troops. He seems to have medi- 
tated a retreat to Princeton; he had, in fact, passed out 
of the town, but the ambition of the soldier triumphed 
in his breast; how could he fly before the rebels he had 
despised? He rashly returned to the charge. By this 
time Washington had gained the main street, and opened 
a battery of six field-pieces, which swept it from end to 
end. As Rahl advanced at the head of his grenadiers he 
fell mortally wounded. At the fall of their leader his 
soldiers attempted to retreat, but they were intercepted 
by Colonel Hand, with his Pennsylvania riflemen; and, 
hemmed in on all sides, they grounded their arms and 
surrendered at discretion. 

Stark, with his detachment, had assaulted the south 
side of the town, and the firing in that quarter had added 
to the general confusion. A party of British light-horse, 
and five hundred Hessians stationed there " took head- 
long flight, by the bridge across the Assunpink," and 
thus escaped and joined Don op at Bordentown. Had 
Colonel Ewing been able to cross, according to the ar- 
rangement, their escape would have been prevented. 

The Americans took one thousand prisoners, of whom 
thirty- two were officers; of their own number, only two 
were killed and two were frozen to death on the march. 
Several were wounded, among whom was James Monroe, 


afterward President of the United States, who was at chap. 

this time a lieutenant in the army. 

The attack designed by Reed and Cadwallader, like 1776 - 
that of Colonel Ewing, was prevented by the ice, which 
made it impossible for them to embark their cannon. 
Thus the success was incomplete, and Washington at 
Trenton, encumbered by his prisoners, with a strong force 
of the enemy below him under Count Donop, and another 
in his rear at Princeton, prudently resolved to recross the 

Before he left the town he, with General Greene, 
visited Colonel Rahl, who survived until the evening of 
the day after the battle. The dying colonel remembered 
his grenadiers, and during this visit he commended them 
to the consideration of Washington. Rahl lies buried 
in the grave-yard of the Presbyterian church in Trenton. 

When Washington had disposed of his prisoners and 
allowed his troops a little time to recruit, he resolved to 
return and follow up his success before the enthusiasm 
it had awakened had time to cool. Meantime, he had 
received from Reed and Cadwallader, who had crossed on 
the twenty-seventh, the encouraging news that all the Dec. 
Hessian posts on the river were deserted; that Count 
Donop had retreated with all haste to Brunswick, with 
a portion of his forces, while the remainder had made 
their way to Princeton. 

"A fair opportunity is now offered,' ' writes Washing- 
ton at this time, " to drive the enemy out of New Jersey," 
and he formed his plans accordingly. The American 
forces, now no longer needed to guard the Delaware, were 
gradually concentrating at Trenton. Parties were sent to 
harass the retreating enemy, and General Heath was or- 
dered to make a demonstration from the Highlands, as 
if he intended to attack New York. The New England 
regiments whose terms were about to expire were induced 
by a bounty of ten dollars and the persuasions of their 


chap, officers to remain six weeks longer. Men of standing and 

influence were sent abroad to rouse the militia of New 

1776 - Jersey to avenge the outrages inflicted upon the people 
by the Hessians. Matters began to wear a brighter as- 
pect, and hope and enthusiasm were revived. 

At this crisis Washington received the highest mark 
of confidence in the gift of the people — Congress invested 
him with unlimited military authority for six months. 
The letter of the committee which conveyed to him this 
resolution closed with these words: "Happy is it for 
this country that the general of their forces can safely 
be intrusted with the most unlimited power, and neither 
personal security, liberty, nor property be in the least 
endangered thereby." * 

Nothing could exceed the astonishment of Howe when 
he learned that his Hessians, veterans in war, had fled 
before the militia. Cornwallis was hurried back to resume 
his command in the Jerseys. 

Washington, anxious to ascertain the movements and 
designs of the enemy, sent forward Colonel Reed, who 
was well acquainted with the country, to reconnoitre. 
With Reed were six young horsemen, members of the 
"Philadelphia City Troop," full of fire and zeal, but who 
had never seen active service. No reward could induce 
the terror-stricken people to approach Princeton and bring 
them information. Nothing daunted, the party dashed 
on till they were in view of the top of the college building, 
when they observed a British dragoon passing from a barn 
to a farm-house. Supposing him to be a marauder, they 
determined to capture him and obtain the desired infor- 
mation. Presently they saw another and another. They 
charged at once and surrounded the house, " and twelve 
dragoons, well armed, with their pieces loaded, and hav- 

1 Correspondence of the Revolution, vol. iv., p. 552. 


ing the advantage of the house, surrendered to seven chap. 

horsemen, six of whom had never seen an enemy before, 

and, almost in sight of the British army, were brought 1776 * 
into the American camp at Trenton, on the same even- 
ing." ' The sergeant of the dragoons alone escaped. The 
information obtained from these prisoners was most im- 
portant. Cornwallis, with a body of picked troops, had 
joined Colonel Grant the day before at Princeton, and 
they were ready to march the next day upon Trenton, 
with a strong force of seven or eight thousand men. 

In anticipation of an attack, Washington arranged 
his men, in number about six thousand, in a favorable 
position on the east bank of Assunpink creek. As the 
enemy approached, on the second of January, their ad- Jan - 
vance was harassed, and so effectually held in check by 
forces sent forward under General Greene and Colonel 
Hand, that they did not reach Trenton till near sunset. 
The fords and bridges over the creek were carefully guarded 
and defended by the American batteries. Cornwallis made 
repeated attempts to cross, but was as often repulsed; 
at each repulse a shout ran along the American lines. 
Thinking that the struggle might be a desperate one, the 
British commander concluded to defer it till the next 
day, and retired with the boast that he would "bag the 
fox in the morning." Both armies kindled their camp- 
fires, and once more they rested in sight of each other. 

Never had the prospect of the Americans been so 
gloomy. The officers gathered at the quarters of General 
Mercer to hold a council of war; to retreat was impossi- 
ble; behind them was the Delaware, filled with floating 
ice. Who could propose an expedient that would relieve 
them from the present dilemma? Such an expedient, 
one of the boldest and best conceived of the whole war, 

1 Life of Colonel Reed, p. 369. 


chap, had crossed the mind of the Commander-in-chief. He 

. judged that the main division of the British forces was 

1777. with Cornwallis; that Princeton and Brunswick, where 
their stores were deposited, could be but imperfectly 
guarded. He proposed to march by a circuitous and 
obscure road around the left flank of the enemy to 
Princeton, capture the forces there, and then push on and 
seize the stores at Brunswick. The plan was accepted at 
once, and the officers entered into it with alacrity. The 
stores were sent down the river to Burlington, and various 
stratagems were resorted to to deceive the enemy. Small 
parties were left behind, some to be noisily employed in 
digging trenches within hearing of their sentinels; others 
to relieve the guards and replenish the camp-fires and 
preserve all the appearance of a regular encampment; at 
daylight these were to hasten after the army. 

About midnight the Americans began their silent 
march. The road over which they moved was new and 
rough, and at sunrise they were still three miles from 
Princeton. Here they halted and formed into two divi- 
sions, one of which, under Washington, was to proceed 
by a cross-cut to the town, while the other, under Gen- 
eral Mercer, was to gain the main road and destroy the 
bridge, when they had passed over, to prevent the ap- 
proach of Cornwallis. 

Three British regiments had passed the night at 
Jan. Princeton, and two of them were already on their march 


to join the forces at Trenton. Colonel Mawhood, com- 
mander of the foremost, when about two miles from the 
town, caught sight of Mercer's division. Believing it a 
party of Americans who had been driven from Trenton, 
he sent back a messenger to Princeton to hurry on the 
other regiments, that they might surround them and cut 
off their retreat. Presently Mercer espied the British, 
and now both parties rushed to gain a favorable position 
on a rising ground. The Americans were successful, and 


with their rifles opened a severe fire upon the enemy, chap. 

who returned it vigorously. Almost at the first fire ' 

Mercer's horse was shot under him, and the second officer 1777 - 
in command fell mortally wounded. The enemy took 
advantage of the confusion that followed the fall of the 
leaders and rushed on with the bayonet. The Americans, 
who were without bayonets, unable to withstand the 
charge, gave way. As Mercer, now on foot, endeavored 
to rally them, he was struck down, bayoneted, and left 
on the field apparently dead. 

As his men retreated in confusion, a body of Pennsyl- 
vania militia, which Washington had sent to their aid, 
appeared in sight. Mawhood instantly checked his pur- 
suit of the fugitives and opened upon these fresh troops a 
heavy fire of artillery which brought them to a stand. 

Convinced by the continued firing that the conflict 
was serious, Washington spurred on in advance of his 
division, and just at this crisis had reached a rising ground 
near by, from which he witnessed the scene. He saw the 
scattered forces of Mercer, the hesitation of the militia; 
everything was at stake. He dashed forward in the face 
of Mawhood's artillery, exposed both to the fire of the 
enemy and the random shots of his own soldiers, and 
waving his hat, called upon the faltering and broken 
forces to follow him. Inspired by his voice and example, 
they rallied at once and returned to the charge. At this 
moment a Virginia regiment emerged from a neighbor- 
ing wood, and with loud cheers engaged in the conflict; 
while the American artillery, now within range, began 
to shower grape-shot upon the enemy. The fight was 
desperate, but the field was won. Mawhood, who, a few 
minutes before, had felt certain of victory, now with great 
difficulty forced his way back to the main road and re- 
treated with all haste toward Trenton. 

The second regiment was attacked by the brigade 
under St. Clair; broken and scattered, it fled across the 


chap, fields towards New Brunswick. Alarmed at the general 

— — ' rout, a part of the third regiment fled in the same direc- 

1777 - tion, while another portion took refuge in the college 

building. The American artillery was immediately 

brought to bear upon it, and they soon surrendered. 

The British loss in this battle was about one hundred 
slain and three hundred prisoners, while the Americans 
lost but few; among these was the brave Colonel Haslet. 
Mercer, who was left on the field for dead was after the 
battle discovered by Colonel Armstrong, still alive, but 
suffering greatly from his wounds, and exposure to the 
cold. He was borne to a neighboring farm-house, where, 
after a few days, he expired. As a soldier, he was brave; 
as a man of sterling merit, he was worthy the respect of 
his adopted countrymen, for, like Montgomery, he was 
of foreign birth, and like him, he has won an honorable 
name among the heroes of the Revolution. 

Washington, eager to secure the stores so necessary 
for his army, pushed on some distance toward Brunswick. 
A little reflection convinced him that his troops, in their 
exhausted condition, could not reach there before they 
would be overtaken. They had been a night and a day 
without rest; they were thinly clad, and some of them 
were barefoot. He stopped and held a consultation with 
his officers on horseback. They decided that it was inju- 
dicious to proceed. Grieved and disappointed that they 
were unable to reap the advantage of their recent suc- 
cess, they turned their steps toward Morristown. 

When morning revealed to the enemy on the banks of 
the Assunpink the deserted camp of the Americans, Corn- 
wallis was greatly at a loss to divine to what covert the 
"fox" had fled. Soon the booming of cannon at Prince- 
ton gave him the desired information. His thoughts 
turned at once to the stores at Brunswick; he must save 


them from the hands of his enemy. His march back to chap. 

Princeton was much impeded. The Americans had not i 

forgotten to throw obstacles in his way. He found the 1777 - 
bridge over Stony Creek, a few miles from the town, 
broken down, and the party of Americans left for that 
purpose still in sight. Impatient of delay, he urged on 
his soldiers, who, although the waters were breast high, 
dashed across the stream. Believing that Washington 
was in full march for Brunswick, he halted not at Prince- 
ton, but hurried on in pursuit with so much eagerness 
that he did not observe that the Americans had diverged 
from the road. 

The American army retreated to a strong position at 
Morristown. There the soldiers provided themselves 
huts, and remained until the last of May. 

For six months after the battle of Princeton no en- 
terprise of importance was undertaken by either party. 

The yeomanry of New Jersey were now thoroughly 
roused to preserve their State from further depredations. 
They warmly seconded the efforts of Washington, and 
greatly aided the detachments from the army, who were 
on the alert to cut off the foraging parties of the enemy; 
and so effectually did they harass them that they scarcely 
ventured out of sight of their camp. Thus unable to ob- 
tain provisions for his army, Cornwallis gradually with- 
drew within his lines, at Brunswick and Amboy, that he 
might be in communication with New York by water, 
whence alone he could draw his supplies. Thus those 
who, a few weeks before, were in possession of nearly all 
New Jersey, were now able to retain scarcely more of 
her soil than was sufficient for a camp. 

The success that had crowned the American arms at 
Trenton and Princeton cheered the hearts and revived 
the hopes of the patriots; but they knew well that the 
enemy was checked, not conquered; that the struggle 
must be renewed, and the result was still doubtful. 


chap. Washington had established his headquarters at Mor- 
ristown, while the right wing of his army, under Putnam, 

1777 • was stationed at Princeton, and the left was in the High- 
lands, under General Heath. Along this extended line, 
at convenient distances, were established cantonments. 
Though weak in numbers, the army was so judiciously 
posted that the enemy, deceived by its apparent strength, 
hesitated to attack it. 

Putnam, who had with him but a few hundred men, 
resorted to stratagem to hide his weakness. A British 
officer, who lay mortally wounded at Princeton, desired 
the presence of a military comrade in his last moments. 
The kind-hearted general could not deny the request; he 
sent a flag to Brunswick in quest of the friend, who en- 
tered Princeton after dark. Every unoccupied house was 
carefully lighted, lights gleamed in all the college win- 
dows, and the Old General marched and countermarched 
his scanty forces to such effect that the British soldier 
on his return to the camp reported them as at least five 
thousand strong. 

The winter atMorristown was a season of comparative 
quiet, during which the Commander-in-chief was engaged 
in earnest efforts to improve the state of his army. The 
evil effects of the system of short enlistments adopted by 
Congress, and repeatedly protested against by Washing- 
ton, were severely felt at this juncture. The terms of 
great numbers were about to expire, and new recruits 
came in but slowly. To guard against the ravages of 
small-pox, which at times had been fatally prevalent in 
the army, these were inoculated as fast as they came in. 

The exchange of prisoners had become a subject of 
negotiation. At first the British refused to exchange on 
equal terms on the plea that the Americans were rebels, 
but Howe, who had at this time about five thousand on 
his hands, opened a correspondence with Washington on 
the subject. Now the Americans in their turn objected 


to an exchange. Their captured countrymen had been chap. 

left to the tender mercies of the New York Tories, crowded ! 

into warehouses which had been converted into prisons, 1777 - 
or into loathsome hulks anchored in the bay; fed with 
impure food, and left to languish in filth and nakedness. 
Thrilling tales are told of the sufferings of those confined 
in the sugar-house and on board the Jersey, a prison- 
ship. More than ten thousand wretched American pris- 
oners died during the war, and were buried without cere- 
mony in shallow graves at Brooklyn, on Long Island. 
Of those who survived scarcely one ever fully recovered 
from the effects of these hardships. 

Washingon refused to recruit the British army by 
an exchange of well-fed and hale Hessian and British 
prisoners for emanciated and diseased Americans, whose 
terms of enlistment had expired and who were scarcely 
able, from very weakness, to return to their homes. His 
policy was sanctioned by Congress — a severe policy, but 
authorized by the necessities of the times. 

To supply the want of field-officers, Congress com- Feb. 
missioned five major-generals: Stirling, St. Clair, Mifflin, 19 ' 
Stephen and Lincoln. The latter we have seen as the 
secretary of the first Provincial Congress of Massachu- 
setts. He was afterward the efficient commander of the 
militia of that State, and now he was promoted over the 
heads of all the brigadiers. In these appointments, Ar- 
nold, whose meritorious conduct on the battle-field, as 
well as his seniority as a brigadier, entitled him to promo- 
tion, was entirely overlooked. He complained bitterly of 
this injustice; the wound rankled in his proud breast; 
from this hour till he found consolation in revenge he 
seems to have brooded over the disrespect shown him by 
his countrymen. 

Eighteen brigadier-generals were also commissioned, 
among whom were Glover, the leader of the Marblehead 
fishermen; George Clinton, of New York, the sturdy 


chap, guardian of the Highlands, and afterward Vice-President, 
Woodford and Muhlenburg, of Virginia — the latter a 

1777 - Lutheran clergyman, who at the commencement of hos- 
tilities had "laid aside the surplice to put on a uniform," 
raised a company of soldiers, and who continued in the 
army till the close of the war — and Hand and Anthony 
Wayne, of Pennsylvania. Wayne was by nature a sol- 
dier; even in his school-days he turned the heads of his 
companions by telling them stories of battles and sieges, 
and drilled them in making and capturing mud forts. In 
later years he was so distinguished for his daring that he 
became known in the army by the appellation of "Mad 

An Irish adventurer named Conway, who professed 
to have served for thirty years in the French army, and 
to be thoroughly skilled in the science of war, was also 
commissioned. He proved, however, more famous for 
intrigues than for military genius or courage. 

Congress also authorized the enlistment of four regi- 
ments of cavalry. The quartermaster's department was 
more perfectly arranged, and General Mifflin was placed 
at its head. 

The hospital department was also reorganized, and 
placed under the charge of Doctor Shippen, of the Medi- 
cal College at Philadelphia. His principal assistant was 
Doctor Craik, the friend and companion of Washington 
in his expeditions against Fort Du Quesne. 

Doctor Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence, and afterward celebrated in his profession, 
was appointed surgeon-general. The office of adjutant- 
general, resigned by Colonel Reed, was given to Timothy 
Pickering, of Massachusetts. 

Nor was the navy neglected. Of the vessels authorized 
to be built, several frigates had been finished and equipped, 
but the want of funds prevented the completion of the 
remainder, for the Continental money began to depreciate, 


and loans could not be obtained. The entire American chap. 

fleet under Admiral Hopkins was at this time blockaded 1 

at Providence. But privateers, especially from New Eng- 1777 - 
land, were eager in pursuit of British vessels trading to 
the West Indies, of which they captured nearly three 
hundred and fifty, whose cargoes were worth five millions 
of dollars. A profitable trade, principally by way of the 
West Indies, was also opened with France, Spain and 
Holland, but it was attended by great risks, and a large 
number of American vessels thus engaged fell into the 
hands of British cruisers. 

In the spring, while Washington still remained at 
Morris town, the British commenced a series of marauding 
expeditions. A strong party was sent up the Hudson to 
seize the military stores at Peekskill. General McDou- 
gall, finding it impossible to defend them against a force 
so superior, burned them, and retired with his men to 
the hills in the vicinity. As General Heath had been 
transferred to the command in Massachusetts, Washing- 
ton sent Putnam to command in the Highlands. 

A month later Cornwallis made an attack on a corps * .- 
under General Lincoln, stationed at Boundbrook, a few 13. 
miles from Brunswick. The militia, to whom the duty 
was intrusted, imperfectly guarded the camp. Lincoln 
with difficulty extricated himself, after losing a few men 
and some cannon. 

Presently a fleet of twenty-six sail was seen proceed- 
ing up the Sound; anxious eyes watched it from the shore. 
It was the intriguing Tryon, now a major-general, in 
command of a body of Tories two thousand strong, who 
was on his way to destroy the military stores collected 
at Danbury, Connecticut. He landed on the beach 
between Fairfield and Norwalk on the afternoon of the 
twenty-fifth, and immediately commenced his march. April. 



chap. The alarm spread; General Silliman, of the Con- 

. ' necticut militia, called out his men, and sent expresses 

1777. m every direction. Arnold, who had been sent by Wash- 
ington some months before to prepare defences at Provi- 
dence and obtain recruits, happened to be in New Haven 
when the express arrived with the intelligence of the in- 
road. He hastened with some volunteers to join Gen- 
erals Wooster and Silliman, whose forces amounted to 
about six hundred militia; and the whole company moved 
after the marauders. 

Try on, who had marched all night, reached Danbury 
on the afternoon of the twenty-sixth. He commenced 
at once to destroy the magazines of stores. Although 
the inhabitants had abandoned their homes at his ap- 
proach, he permitted his soldiers to burn almost every 
house in the village. By morning the work of destruc- 
tion was complete. The militia were approaching, and 
the marauders were compelled to run the gauntlet to 
their ships, twenty miles distant. 

The Americans were separated into two divisions, one 
under Wooster, the other under Arnold; while the former 
was to harass the enemy in the rear, the latter was to 
make a stand at a convenient point in advance and ob- 
struct their progress. 

The brave Wooster, though sixty-eight years of age, 
led forward his men with great spirit. When they, un- 
used to war, faltered in the face of the enemy's musketry 
and artillery, he rode to the front and cheered them. 
"Come on, my boys," cried he, "never mind such random 
shots." At that moment a musket-ball pierced his side, 
and he fell from his horse mortally wounded. His sol- 
diers now retreated in confusion. 

Arnold had made a stand at Ridgefield, two miles be- 
yond the spot where Wooster fell, and while the enemy 
was delayed by this skirmishing, he had thrown up a 
barricade or breastwork. He acted with his usual daring, 


but after a spirited resistance his little force was over- chap. 
powered by numbers and driven back. As he was bring- 

ing off the rear-guard his horse was shot under him; 1777 * 
before he could disengage himself from the struggling 
animal a Tory rushed up with a fixed bayonet and cried 
out, "You are my prisoner." "Not yet," replied Arnold, 
as he coolly levelled his pistol and shot him dead. He 
then escaped, rallied his men, and renewed the attack. 

The determined resistance of the militia retarded the 
British so much that they were forced to encamp for the 
night. The next day they were greeted with the same April 
galling fire from behind trees, fences, and houses, which 
continued until they came within range of the guns of 
their ships. They speedily embarked, fain to escape the 
rifles of the exasperated yeomanry. 

General Wooster was conveyed to Danbury, where 
he died surrounded by his family. His loss was greatly 
deplored by the patriots. A neat monument in the 
cemetery of that place now marks his grave. 

When Congress learned of the gallant conduct of 
Arnold, they commissioned him a major-general and pre- 
sented him with a horse richly caparisoned. Yet even 
this tardy acknowledgment of his military merit was 
marred, — the date of his commission still left him below 
his proper rank. He seemed to feel this second slight 
more keenly than the first. 

The Americans resolved to retaliate in kind, and Col- 
onel Return Jonathan Meigs, of Connecticut, with one 
hundred and seventy men, passed over the Sound to the 
east end of Long Island. They carried their boats during 
the night fifteen miles across the neck, launched them May 
on the bay, passed over to Sag Harbor, and destroyed a 24, 
great amount of provisions and forage collected there for 
the British. In addition, they burned twelve vessels, 


chap, took ninety prisoners, and returned without losing a man, 
— ' having passed over ninety miles in twenty-five hours. 

1777. Though strenuous efforts were made to obtain recruits, 
the smallness of the American army still continued; want 
of funds crippled every measure. At the instance of 
Washington, Congress declared that those redemptioners 
or indented servants who enlisted in the army should, 
by that act, become freemen; and bounties in land were 
offered the Hessians to induce them to desert. 

Meanwhile General Schuyler labored with great zeal 
in the Northern Department. But his feelings were se- 
verely tried by the aspersions which his enemies cast upon 
his character and conduct of affairs. In the autumn of 
1776 he wrote: "I am so sincerely tired of abuse, that I 
will let my enemies arrive at the completion of their wishes 
as soon as I shall have been tried ; and attempt to serve 
my injured country in some other way, where envy and 
detraction will have no temptation to follow me." But 
Congress would not accept his resignation. During the 
winter he made repeated appeals to the Commander-in- 
chief for reinforcements and supplies, which, for want of 
means, could not be sent. There were but six or seven 
hundred men atTiconderoga; Carleton,he thought, might 
cross Lake Champlain on the ice and attack them; if 
successful, he might follow out his original plan and push 
on to Albany. As the abuse of which Schuyler com- 
plained was continued, early in April he proceeded to 
Philadelphia, and demanded of Congress a committee to 
inquire into his conduct. Meantime General Gates had 
been ordered to take command at Ticonderoga. 

Schuyler's patriotism was not an impulse, not a matter 
of mere words, nor did injustice rouse in his breast, as in 
that of Arnold, the dark spirit of revenge. However, the 
committee reported in his favor; and, with his character 
and conduct fully vindicated, he returned to the charge 
of the Northern Department. The ambitious Gates was 



deeply chagrined and disappointed; he had flattered him- chap. 

self that Schuyler would never resume his command, and - 

regarded himself as virtually his successor. Professing 1777 * 
to be aggrieved, he hastened to Philadelphia to seek 
redress at the hands of Congress. 

The want of a national flag was greatly felt, especially 
in the marine service. Congress adopted the " Union 
Flag," with its thirteen stripes, but displaced the " Cross 
of St. George," and substituted for it thirteen stars; to June ° 
which one star has. since been added for each additional 



The Struggle excites an Interest in England and France. — Baron 
De Kalb. — Privateers fitted out in France. — Negotiations for 
Munitions of War. — Howe's Manoeuvres. — Burgoyne on his Way 
from Canada. — Ticonderoga Captured. — St. Clair's Retreat to 
Fort Edward. — Efforts to arrest the Progress of Burgoyne. — 
Capture of General Prescott. — The Secret Expedition. — The 
British Fleet puts to Sea. — The American Army at German- 
town. — La Fayette. — Pulaski and Kosciusko. — Aid sent tr 
Schuyler. — Howe lands at Elkton. — Battle of Brandyw* 
Possession taken of Philadelphia. — Battle of Germantown. — 
Hessians repulsed at Fort Mercer. — Winter Quarters at Valley 

chap. The unfortunate result of the battle of Long Island; the 


. ' loss of New York and Fort Washington; and the retreat 

1777 - across New Jersey, were all significant of the weakness of 
the patriot army. Intelligence of these disasters disheart- 
ened the friends of the cause in Europe. Edmund Burke, 
their firm friend, remarked that, although the Americans 
had accomplished wonders, yet the overpowering forces to 
be brought against them in the following campaign must 
completely crush their hopes of independence. Said he : 
"An army that is obliged, at all times and in all situa- 
tions, to decline an engagement may delay their ruin, but 
can never defend their country." 

The intelligent portion of the people of France were 
not indifferent spectators of this struggle; it was watched 
with intense interest by her merchants, her manufacturers, 


her statesmen. From the day on which Canada was chap 

wrested from her, France had ardently hoped that her -' 

proud rival might in turn lose her own American colonies. 1777 - 
Ten years before the commencement of hostilities, Choi- 
seul, the enlightened statesman and prime minister of 
Louis XV, sent an agent through the colonies, to ascertain 
the feelings of the people. That agent was Baron De Kalb, 
the same who afterward so nobly served the cause in the 
American army. He was indefatigable in " collecting 
pamphlets, newspapers, and sermons," which he sent to 
his employer. Choiseul gathered from them the proofs 
that the British king and ministry, by their blindness and 
injustice, were fast alienating the good will of their col- 
onists; and he hoped by offering them, without restric- 
tion, the commerce of France, to alienate them more and 
more. Thus the minds of the French people and gov- 
ernment were prepared to afford aid, but not under the 
present aspect of affairs. 

Early in the spring, intelligence reached Europe that 
the American army, which was supposed to be broken 
beyond recovery, had suddenly rallied, boldly attacked, 
and driven the invaders out of New Jersey. It was 
scarcely thought possible. How could a handful of ill- 
disciplined, ill-armed yeomanry, so destitute of clothes 
that some of them froze to death while on duty, and 
others stained the snow with the blood that flowed from 
their naked feet, meet and defeat a regular army? 
Surely men who would thus cheerfully suffer deserved 
independence! A thrill of enthusiasm was excited in 
their favor. They were regarded as a nation of heroes, 
and Washington, because of his prudence and skill, was 
extolled as the American Fabius. 

With the connivance of the government, American 
privateers were secretly fitted out, and even permitted to 
sell their prizes in French ports, in spite of the protests 


chap, of the British ambassador. The government itself secretly 

— ' sent arms and military stores for the American army. 

1777. This was done by means of a fictitious trading-house, 
known as " Hortales and Company." These supplies were 
to be paid for in tobacco sent by the way of the West 
Indies. Soon after the battle of Lexington, secret nego- 
tiations on the subject had been entered upon in London 
by Beaumarchais, an agent of the French court, and Ar- 
thur Lee, who for some years had resided in that city as 
a barrister. The latter was a brother of Richard Henry 
Lee, of Virginia, for which colony he had acted as agent 
in England. The Secret Committee of Congress, in the 
meantime, sent Silas Deane to Paris as an agent to obtain 
supplies. Though Deane appeared in that city simply as 
a merchant, he became on object of suspicion, and was 
closely watched by British spies. Beaumarchais now 
made arrangements with him to send three ships laden 
with military stores to the United States. Unfortu- 
nately two of these ships were captured by British cruis- 
ers; the third, however, arrived opportunely to furnish 

April, some of the regiments recently enlisted at Morristown. 

Three months after the Declaration of Independence, 
Doctor Franklin was sent to join Deane in France, and 
thither Lee was also directed to repair. To these com- 
missioners Congress delegated authority to make a treaty 
of alliance with the French court. They were admitted 
to private interviews by Vergennes, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, and encouraged, but the government was not yet 
prepared to make an open declaration of its true senti- 

The British ministry, by means of spies, obtained in- 
formation of some of these proceedings. They imme- 
diately issued letters of marque and reprisal against the 
Americans, while Parliament cheerfully voted supplies 
Feb. and men to prosecute the war. 

Howe's movements — news from the north. 457 

As the spring advanced, the enemy's movements were chap. 

watched with anxious interest. That he might observe -1 

them to better advantage, Washington, on the twenty- l77 ?* 
eighth of May, removed his camp to the heights of Mid- 
dlebrook, a strong and central position. Early in June, May. 
Sir William Howe, who had received large reinforce- 
ments, and supplies of tents and camp equipage, estab- 
lished his headquarters at Brunswick, about ten miles 
distant. He commenced a series of manoeuvres and made 
a feint movement toward Philadelphia, in the hope of 
drawing Washington from the heights into the open 
plain, where British discipline might prevail; the latter 
was too cautious to be thus entrapped, and Howe, foiled 
in his attempt, retraced his steps to Brunswick. Pres- 
ently he evacuated that place, and hastened with all speed 
toward Amboy. Washington sent an advance party in 
pursuit, but suspecting this move was also a feint, he 
followed slowly with the main body. The suspicion was 
just; Howe suddenly wheeled, and by a rapid movement 
endeavored to turn the Americans' left, in order to gain 
the passes and heights in their rear, but Washington saw 
his object in time to gain his stronghold. Unable to 
bring on an engagement, Howe in a few days withdrew 
his forces to Staten Island. June 

Just before this time, important news had been re- 20 * 
ceived from the North. Burgoyne, who had succeeded 
Sir Guy Carleton, was about to advance by way of Lake 
Champlain, while a detachment under General St. Leger 
and Sir John Johnson was to make its by Oswego to the 
Mohawk River. On the very day that the British left 
New Jersey, further intelligence came from St. Clair that 
the enemy's fleet was actually approaching Ticonderoga, 
where he was in command. 

The force under Burgoyne was not precisely known; 
it was, however, thought to be small, but in truth he had 
a finely equipped army of nearly ten thousand men, four- 


chap, fifths of whom were regulars, British and Hessian; the 


.' remainder Canadians and Indians. It was furnished with 

1777 • one of the finest parks of field-artillery, under the com- 
mand of General Phillips, who had acquired his great 
reputation as an artillery officer in the wars of Germany. 
He was also ably supported by the second in command, 
General Fraser, an officer of great merit, and who was 
characterized as the soul of the army. The Hessians 
were under Baron Riedesel. 

Near Crown Point, Burgoyne met the chiefs of the 
Six Nations in council, and induced four hundred of their 
June, warriors to join him. A few days later he issued a bom- 
bastic proclamation, in which he threatened to punish the 
patriots who would not immediately submit, and to let 
loose upon them the Indians. 

St. Clair, who had but three thousand men, wrote to 
General Schuyler at Albany that he could not defend 
Ticonderoga unless he had reinforcements, ending his let- 
ter by saying: " Everything will be done that is practi- 
cable to frustrate the enemy's designs; but what can be 
expected from troops ill -armed, naked, and unac- 
coutred?" Still unaware of the force of the enemy, he 
trusted in his position, and that he could hold out for 
some time. 

There was an abrupt hill on the edge of the narrow 
channel which connects Lakes Champlain and George. 
This hill commanded Fort Ticonderoga, and also Fort 
Independence, on the east side of Champlain. It was 
thought by St. Clair and others to be absolutely inac- 
cessible for artillery. But the "wily Phillips," acting on 
the principle that " where a goat can go a man may go; 
and where a man can go, artillery may be drawn up," 
suddenly appeared on this hill-top. For three days he 
had been at work taking his cannon up the height, and 
in twenty-four hours he would be ready to "rain iron 
hail" on both the forts from his Fort Defiance. 

burgoyne's advance — st. clair's retreat. 459 

The Americans must now evacuate the forts, or be chap. 

made prisoners. St. Clair chose the former. He could .' 

only escape in the night, and his preparations must be 1777 - 
made in the face of the enemy. The two hundred bateaux 
were to be laden with stores, the women, the sick and 
wounded, and sent up South River. St. Clair, with the 
main body, was to pass to Fort Independence, and with 
its garrison march through the woods to Skeenesborough, 
now Whitehall. With the greatest secrecy and speed July 
the arrangements were made; the boats, concealed by the 
deep shadows of the mountains, were under way; the 
main body had passed over the drawbridge to Independ- 
ence, and was on its march, and the rear division was just 
leaving Ticonderoga,when suddenly, about four o'clock in 
the morning, the whole heavens were lighted up; a house 
on Mount Independence was on fire, and its light revealed 
the Americans in full retreat. Alarm guns and beating 
of drums aroused the British. General Fraser was soon 
in motion with his division, the abandoned forts were 
taken possession of, and by daylight measures concerted 
to pursue the fugitives both by land and water. Fraser 
was to pursue St. Clair with his division, and General 
Riedesel to follow with his Hessians, while Burgoyne him- 
self sailed in his ships to overtake the American flotilla. 
On the afternoon of the next day the flotilla reached 
Whitehall; but scarcely were they landed when the roar- 
ing of artillery told that the British gunboats had over- 
taken the rear-guard of galleys. Presently, fugitives from 
these brought intelligence that the British frigates had 
landed Indians who were coming to cut off their retreat. 
Everything was abandoned and set on fire; all took to 
flight toward Fort Anne, at which place, after a most 
harassing night-march, they arrived. The enemy appeared 
the same day, but were held in check by sharp skirmish- 
ing. The Americans thought this the vanguard of Bur- 
goyne's army, and they set Fort Anne on fire and retreated 


chap, sixteen miles further to Fort Edward, where General 


, ! Schuyler had just arrived with reinforcements. 

1777 - General St. Clair continued his retreat, and at night 
arrived at Castleton; his rear-guard, contrary to his ex- 
press orders, stopped six miles short of that place. The 
next morning the guard was startled by an attack from 
Fraser's division, which had marched nearly all night. 
At the first onset a regiment of militia fled, but the regi- 
ments of Warner and Francis made a spirited resistance; 
yet they were compelled to yield to superior numbers, 
and make the best retreat they could. St. Clair, in the 
meantime, pushed on through the woods; after seven 
days he appeared at Fort Edward, with his soldiers wea- 
ried and haggard from toil and exposure. 

Schuyler sent at once a strong force to put obstruc- 
tions in Wood Creek; to fell trees and break down the 
bridges on the road from Fort Anne to Fort Edward. 
This being the only road across that rough and thickly 
wooded country, it took Burgoyne three weeks to remove 
these obstructions and arrive at Fort Edward. The Brit- 
ish hailed with shouts of exultation the Hudson — the 
object of their toil. It would be easy, they thought, to 

July force their way to Albany, in which place Burgoyne 
boasted he would eat his Christmas dinner. 

Schuyler now retreated to Saratoga. In these reverses 
the loss of military stores, artillery, and ammunition was 
immense, and the intelligence spread consternation 
through the country. The American army under Schuy- 
ler consisted of only about five thousand men, the ma- 
jority of whom were militia; many were without arms, 
while there was a deficiency of ammunition and provisions. 

Just at this time a daring and successful adventure 
mortified the enemy and afforded no little triumph to 
American enterprise. The commanding officer at New- 
port, General Prescott, famous for the arbitrary and 


contemptuous manner in which he treated the "rebels," chap. 

offered a reward for the capture of Arnold, who replied to — .'. 

the insult by offering half the sum for the capture of 1777 - 
Prescott. It was ascertained, by means of spies, that the 
latter was lodging at a certain house in the outskirts of 
the town. On a dark night a company of select men, 
with Colonel Barton at their head, crossed Narraganset Jul y ; 

. 13. 

Bay in whale-boats, threading their way through the 
British fleet. They secured the sentinel at the door, 
burst into the house, and seized Prescott, who was in bed. 
The astonished General only asked if he might put on his 
clothes. " Very few and very quick," replied Barton. 
He returned with his prisoner across the bay without 
being discovered. This was a counterpart to the capture 
of Lee, for whom Prescott was afterward exchanged. 

The uncertainty as to the designs of the enemy was 
perplexing. Washington learned from spies in New York 
that Howe was preparing for an expedition by water, but 
its destination was a profound secret. Burgoyne was evi- 
dently pressing on toward the South, to obtain possession 
of the Hudson. Did Howe intend to move up that river to 
co-operate with him, and thus cut off the communication 
between New England and the other States; to make an at- 
tack on Boston, and thus employ the militia of those States 
at home and prevent their joining Schuyler, or to endeavor 
to reach Philadelphia by water? were questions difficult 
to answer. In the midst of these speculations as to its 
destination, the British fleet, on board of which were about 
eighteen thousand men, under the command of Howe, 
passed out through the Narrows and bore away. Intelli- 
gence came in the course of ten days that it was seen off 
Cape May, and Washington moved the army across the July 
Delaware to German town, a few miles from Philadelphia. 

Presently it was ascertained that the fleet had sailed 
to the eastward. Was it to return to New York, or had 


chap, it sailed for Boston? Till the designs of the enemy were 

^ ' more definitely known, the army was held in readiness to 

1777 - march at a moment's notice. 

While waiting for time to unravel these mysterious 
movements of Sir William, Washington visited Philadel- 
phia to consult with Congress, and to give directions for 
the further construction of fortifications on the Dela- 
ware, to prevent the enemy from ascending to the city. 
Some months before, Arnold, after refusing the command 
in the Highlands offered him by Washington to soothe 
his wounded feelings, had accepted that in Philadelphia, 
and with the aid of General Mifflin had already partially 
constructed defences. 

The Duke of Gloucester, the brother of the king of 
England, at a dinner given him by French officers in the 
town of Mentz, had told the story, and the cause of the 
rebellion then going on in America. A youth of nineteen 
belonging to one of the noble families of France was a 
listener. For the first time he heard of the Declaration 
of Independence, and the full particulars of the struggle 
for liberty then in progress in the colonies beyond the 
Atlantic. His generous sympathies were enlisted; he 
could appreciate the nobleness of their cause, and his 
soul was fired with the desire to fly to their aid. Though 
happily married, and blest with wealth, high social posi- 
tion, and domestic joys, he was willing to leave them all 
and risk his life in the cause of freedom. This young 
man was the Marquis De Lafayette. 

Though the French government was not prepared to 
take a decided stand while the issue seemed doubtful, yet 
this consideration, instead of checking, inflamed his ardor. 
"Now I see a chance for usefulness which I had not an- 
ticipated. I have money; I will purchase a ship, which 
will convey to America myself, my companions, and the 
freight for Congress." Such were his words; and he se- 


cretly purchased a vessel which Deane loaded with mili- chap. 
tary stores, and, accompanied by eleven officers, among — — '. 
whom was the Baron De Kalb, he sailed directly for the 1777 - 
United States. He landed on the coast of South Carolina, 
and proceeded at once to Philadelphia, to have an inter- 
view with Congress. The number of foreign officers who 
were applicants for employment in the army was so great 
that Congress found difficulty in disposing of them. 
Deane had been authorized to engage a few competent 
officers, but he seems to have accepted all who applied; 
and many came as adventurers, and "even some who 
brought high recommendations were remarkable for noth- 
ing but extravagant self-conceit and boundless demands 
for rank, command, and pay." 1 

But the earnest disinterestedness of Lafayette capti- 
vated all hearts. Though he offered to serve as a volun- 
teer without pay, Congress commissioned him a major- 
general, but without any special command. A few days 
after this, Washington and Lafayette met — names to be 
ever linked in the annals of freedom. Congress also ac- Aug. 
cepted the services of Count Pulaski, already famous for 
his patriotic defence of his native Poland. His fellow- 
countryman, Thaddeus Kosciusko — a youth of twenty- 
one— afterward equally celebrated in fighting, though 
unsuccessfully, for the liberties of the same Poland, was 
already with General Schuyler, acting in the capacity of 

It was now ascertained that Sir Henry Clinton, whom 
Howe had left in command iu New York, had a force 
sufficient not merely to penetrate up the Hudson and 
co-operate with Burgoyne, but to send detachments and 
create a diversion in favor of Howe in the vicinity of 

Just at this time came urgent appeals from Schuyler, 

1 Hildreth, vol. iii. p. 194. 


chaf. and Washington detached to his aid two brigades from 

. the Highlands, and soon after Colonel Morgan with his 

1777. riflemen, to counteract the Indians, of whom the militia 
had a great dread. He had already sent Arnold, who 
would be of special service in that region — the scene of 
some of his brilliant exploits. Now he directed General 
Lincoln, who was in Massachusetts, to repair thither with a 
portion of the militia of that State, and sent an express to 
Putnam to hold himself in readiness to repel any attack 
from Clinton, and prevent his forming a junction with 
Burgoyne. We will now leave the affairs in the North 
till we have disposed of those connected with Howe's 

In the midst of uncertainty, Washington was about to 
issue orders for the army at German town to move toward 
New York when an express brought him the intelligence 
that the British fleet had passed into the Chesapeake. 
The mystery was easily explained. Howe had learned of 
the obstructions in the Delaware, and he now designed to 
land his troops at the head of the Chesapeake, and march 
thence to Philadelphia, while the fleet should return and, 
in concert with the land forces, reduce the forts on the 
Delaware. After being delayed some weeks by adverse 
winds, his army was now landed at Elkton, about sixty 
miles from Philadelphia. His first demonstration was to 
issue another of his famous proclamations; again he of- 
Aug. fered pardon to those rebels who would submit, and 
25 - promised protection to those persons who would remain 
peaceably at home. 

The main body of the American army was still at 
German town, where the militia, that had been called out, 
had assembled. Washington was sadly deficient in men 
and means to meet the British in open conflict; and there 
were no hills in the region which he could occupy. He 
had only eleven thousand effective men ; there was none 


of that enthusiasm which was then bringing the militia chap 


in thousands to repel Burgoyne. The Quakers of Dela- 
ware and Pennsylvania were at best but lukewarm in 1777 - 
the cause, while the Germans wished to be neutral and 
to avoid the expense. 

Washington concentrated his army in the vicinity of 
Wilmington, but after examining the country resolved to 
fall back beyond the Brandywine creek, which was every- 
where f ordable. The main road to Philadelphia crossed 
the creek at Chadd's Ford. This, it was thought, would be 
the main point of attack. A hill overlooking the ford had 
been intrenched, and there Wayne was stationed with 
the artillery. The right wing was commanded by Sulli- 
van, who had just arrived with three thousand men from 
Jersey; his division extended two miles up the creek. 
The left wing, under General Armstrong — the same who 
destroyed the Indian town of Kittaning — extended a mile 
below, while General Greene, with the reserve, was sta- 
tioned in the rear of the centre on the hills. 

In the morning the enemy in heavy column was de- Sept. 
scried moving toward Chadd's Ford. This division could 
be only partially seen because of intervening woods, but 
it appeared to be the main body of the enemy. Skir- 
mishing soon commenced between the riflemen and the 
enemy, who made several attempts to cross the ford, but 
were as often repulsed. 

Near mid-day a note from Sullivan stated he had heard 
that Howe, with a large body of troops, was passing up 
another road, with the intention of reaching the upper 
fords of the creek, and then turning the right flank of the 
Americans. Washington sent a company to reconnoitre. 
In the meantime he determined to throw his entire force 
on the enemy immediately in his front, and rout them be- 
fore they could obtain assistance from the division march- 
ing the other road; his orders were given for both wings 
to co-operate. This would have been a skilful move and, 


xxxn * n a ^ P r °bability , have secured the defeat of Knyphausen, 

. who, with his Hessians, was in front. 

1777 - At the moment Sullivan was complying with the 
order, unfortunately Major Spicer came from the upper 
fords and reported that there was no enemy in that 
quarter. This information was transmitted to the Com- 
mander-in-chief, who, in consequence, countermanded the 
former order till he could receive further information. 
After waiting some time a patriot of the neighborhood, 
with his horse in a foam, dashed into the presence of 
Washington, and declared that Howe was really passing 
the fords and rapidly gaining the rear of the American 
army. Washington replied that he had just heard there 
was no enemy in that quarter. " You are mistaken, gen- 
eral," exclaimed the excited countryman; "my life for 
it, you are mistaken." And tracing the course of the 
roads in the sand, he showed him the position. All doubts 
were removed in a few minutes by the return of the party 
sent to reconnoitre, with intelligence that a large body of 
the enemy was fast gaining their rear. 

Lord Cornwall is, led by Tory guides, had marched a 
circuit of seventeen miles, and Knyphausen was merely 
waiting at Chadd's Ford for that circuit to be accom- 

Sullivan was ordered to oppose Cornwallis, and Greene, 
with the reserve, to give aid where it might be needed. 
Sullivan made a vigorous resistance, but was forced to fall 
back to a piece of woods, in which the British became 
entangled. The Americans rallied on a hill, and there 
made a still firmer resistance, but were at length com- 
pelled to fall back. Greene was now ordered to move to 
their support, which he did with such rapidity that his 
men marched, or rather ran, five miles in less than an 
hour. Such was the skilful disposition of his soldiers 
that they not only checked the enemy, but opened their 
ranks and let the retreating Americans pass through. 


This brave conduct of the reserve saved Wayne's division chap. 

from a complete rout. He had stubbornly withstood the 
Hessians at the Ford, but when he saw the forces under 1777 - 
Sullivan retreating, unable to cope with half the British 
army, he gradually, and in order, fell back. The Hessians 
were not disposed to press upon their determined foe. 
Thus ended the battle of Brandywine. The Americans 
were driven from the field, but the soldiers were not aware 
that they had suffered a defeat; they thought they had 
received only a check. Though some of the militia gave 
way at once, the great majority fought bravely, met the 
enemy in deadly conflict with the bayonet, and forced 
them back; but at last numbers prevailed. 

Lafayette behaved with great bravery and prudence; 
he had leaped from his horse to rally the troops, when he 
was severely wounded in the leg. Count Pulaski also 
distinguished himself greatly — riding up within pistol- 
shot of the enemy to reconnoitre. Congress promoted 
him to the rank of brigadier-general, and gave him the 
command of the horse. 

Sir William Howe loved repose, and he did not press 
his advantage, but remained two days encamped near 
the field of battle. 

During this time the Americans retreated first to 
Chester, and on the twelfth safely crossed the Schuylkill, 
and thence proceeded to German town; there Washington 
let them repose a day or two. They were in good spirits; 
he prepared to meet the enemy again, and with this in- 
tention crossed the river. About twenty-five miles from Sept. 
Philadelphia the two armies met, but a furious storm pre- 
vented a conflict. The rain so much injured the arms and 
ammunition that Washington deemed it prudent once 
more to recross the river and retire to Pott's Grove, 
about thirty miles from Philadelphia. General Wayne 
was detached in the meanwhile with fifteen hundred men 
to secretly gain the rear of the British army, and cut off 


chap, their baggage; but a Tory carried information of the 

enterprise, and Wayne himself was surprised, and after 

* 777 - the loss of three hundred men forced to retreat. 
20. When it seemed certain that the city must fall into 

the hands of the British, the military stores were re- 
moved and a contribution levied upon the inhabitants 
for blankets, clothes, shoes, and other necessaries for the 
army during the approaching winter. 

It was a time of great danger, and Congress again 
clothed Washington with absolute power, first for sixty 
days, and soon after for double that period. This done, 
that body adjourned, first to Lancaster, and then in a 
few days to York, beyond the Susquehanna. 

Howe, by a night march, was enabled to pass the 
Schuylkill; he then pushed on a detachment which took 
Sept. possession of Philadelphia, while the main body of his 
22 - army halted at German town. 

Though the city was in the hands of the enemy, the 
Americans still held possession of the forts on the lower 

With much exertion, Admiral Howe had brought the 
fleet round from the Chesapeake and anchored it below 
the forts. Fort Mifflin was situated on a low mud island 
at the confluence of the Schuylkill and the Delaware. 
Directly opposite, at Red Bank, on the Jersey shore, was 
Fort Mercer. These were furnished with heavy cannon. 
Heavy timbers framed together, with beams projecting 
and armed with iron spikes, were sunk in the river by 
means of weights; in addition to these obstructions were 
floating batteries above. 

Washington, having learned from intercepted letters, 
that a detachment had left German town to aid the fleet 
in an attack on these forts, resolved to surprise the re- 
mainder. After a night's march of fourteen miles, he 
entered Germantown at sunrise. A dense fog concealed 


the outskirts of the town, and he was unable to learn the chap. 


precise position of the enemy, or that of his own troops. . . 

The British, taken by surprise and thrown into confusion, 1777 - 
gave way on all sides. The Americans, instead of pur- 
suing their advantage, lingered to attack a strong stone 
house, in which a few of the enemy had taken refuge, 
when an unaccountable panic seized them : the complete Q ct 
victory within their grasp was lost. The enemy now 4 - 
rallied and attacked in their turn; but the Americans 
retreated without loss, and carried off all their cannon 
and their wounded. 

Washington, in writing to Congress, says: "Every 
account confirms the opinion I at first entertained, that 
our troops retreated at the instant when victory was de- 
claring herself in our favor." And such is the testimony 
of many officers in their letters to their friends. 

The effect of the bold attack upon Germantown was 
soon perceptible in the spirit of the Americans. One 
writes: " Though we gave away a complete victory, we 
have learnt this valuable truth, that we are able to beat 
them by vigorous exertions, and that we are far superior 
in point of swiftness; we are in high spirits." Again we 
find expressions of confidence of a different character. 
An officer writes: " For my own part, I am so fully con- 
vinced of the justice of the cause in which we are con- 
tending, and that Providence, in its own good time, will 
succeed and bless it, that were I to see twelve of the 
United States overrun by our cruel invaders, I should still 
believe the thirteenth would not only save itself, but 
also work out the deliverance of the others." 

Howe immediately withdrew his troops from Ger- 
mantown. He must either obtain possession of the forts, 
that his fleet might come up, or evacuate the city for 
want of provisions. The Americans, on the other hand, 
resolved to defend the forts to the last extremity. Howe 
sent Count Donop, with twelve hundred picked men, 


chap, grenadiers, to make an assault on Fort Mercer, while the 
~— — ' men-of-war should open on Fort Mifflin and the floating 
1777. batteries. The outworks of Fort Mercer were not fully 
22.' completed, when Count Donop suddenly appeared. Col- 
onel Christopher Greene ordered the men — four hundred 
Rhode Island Continentals — to keep out of sight as 
much as possible. To deceive the enemy, he made a 
short stand at the outer works, and then retreated rap- 
idly to the inner redoubt. The enemy advanced in two 
columns; the Americans received them with a brisk fire, 
and then retreated in haste. The Hessians thought the 
day their own, and with shouts of triumph rushed to 
storm the inner redoubt. They were met by an over- 
whelming discharge of grape-shot and musketry, and com- 
pletely repulsed, with the loss of four hundred men; the 
Americans lost but eight slain and twenty-nine wounded. 
After the battle, as an American officer was passing among 
the slain, a voice called out: " Whoever you are, draw 
me hence." It was Count Donop. A few days after- 
ward, when he felt his end approaching, he lamented his 
condition. " I die," said he, " the victim of my ambi- 
tion and of the avarice of my sovereign." 

Fort Mifflin was commanded by Colonel Samuel 
Smith, of Maryland. In their attack upon it the British 
lost two men-of-war — one of which was blown up, the 
other burned. 

Meantime the enemy received reinforcements from 
New York, and were able to take possession of another 
island, on which they erected batteries, and opened an 
incessant fire upon Fort Mifflin. After a most undaunted 
defence, both forts were abandoned, and the enemy left 
j^" to remove the obstructions in the river at their leisure. 

On the twenty-ninth Washington retired to White 
Marsh, fourteen miles from Philadelphia. Before going 
into winter-quarters, Howe thought to surprise his camp. 
A Quaker lady, Mrs. Darrah, overheard some British 


officers speaking of the intended expedition; she imme- S^a?* 

diately gave Washington information of what was going . 

on. Preparations were made to give the British a warm 1777 - 
reception. A company was sent to harass them on their 
night-march. Finding themselves discovered, they hesi- 
tated to press on. The next day, Howe labored to draw Dec 
Washington into the plain, where British discipline might 
be successful. When he saw the effort was useless, he 
retired to Philadelphia. 

Congress now summoned the militia to repair to the 
main army. A few days after Howe's withdrawal from 
Germantown, Washington also retired to winter-quarters 
at Valley Forge, a rugged hollow on the Schuylkill, about 
twenty miles from Philadelphia. He could thus protect 
the Congress at York as well as his stores at Reading. 

We now turn to relate events — most important in 
their influence — which, during the last few months, had 
transpired in the North. 



The Invasion from Canada. — Appointment of General Gates. — 
Burgoyne's Advance. — Jenny McCrea. — St. Leger besieges Fort 
Stanwix. — The Attempt to relieve it. — St. Leger retreats. — 
Battle of Bennington. — Change of Prospects. — Battle of Beh- 
mus's Heights. — Ticonderoga besieged. — Burgoyne surrenders 
his Army at Saratoga. — The Prisoners. — Capture of Forts on 
the Hudson. — Schuyler. 

chap The unlooked for loss of Ticonderoga, with the disasters 

that so rapidly followed, startled the people of the north- 

1777. ern States more than any event of the war. So little did 
Congress appreciate the difficulties under which Schuy- 
ler and his officers labored, that they attributed these 
misfortunes to their incapacity. John Adams, then Presi- 
dent of the Board of War, gave expression to this feel- 
ing when he wrote: " We shall never be able to defend a 
post till we shoot a general." In the excitement of the 
moment, Congress ordered all the northern generals to be 
recalled and an inquiry instituted into their conduct. 
The northern army would thus be without officers; but, 
on a representation to this effect, Washington obtained 
a suspension of the injudicious order. Clamors against 
Schuyler were renewed with greater violence than ever. 
In truth, many members of Congress were influenced by 
an unreasonable prejudice which had been excited in New 
England against him. When Washington, whose confi- 
dence in Schuyler was unshaken, declined to make any 


change in the Northern Department, " Congress made vj&JU 
the nomination; the Eastern influence prevailed, and — — - 
Gates received the appointment, so long the object of 1777> 
his aspirations, if not intrigues." ! 

The correspondence between Washington and Schuy- 
ler makes known the plan upon which they agreed to 
repel the invaders. This was to keep bodies of men on 
their flank and rear, intercept their supplies, and cut off 
the detachments sent from the main army. We shall 
see how completely this plan succeeded. 

Confident of subduing the " rebels," Burgoyne, on 
his arrival at Fort Edward, issued a second proclamation, 
in which he called upon the people to appoint deputies 
to meet in convention at Castleton, and take measures to 
re-establish the royal authority. To counteract this, 
Schuyler issued a proclamation, threatening to punish 
those as traitors who in this manner should aid the 
enemy. Burgoyne's proclamation had no effect; the 
hardy yeomanry were too patriotic. The whole north- 
ern portion of the country was deeply moved, and the 
militia rallied to arms. 

The Indians of Burgoyne's army prowled about the 
country, murdering and scalping. A beautiful girl, Jenny 
McCrea, the daughter of a Scotch Presbyterian clergy- 
man of New Jersey who died before the war, was visiting 
a friend in the vicinity of Fort Edward. Her family were 
Whigs; she was, however, betrothed to a young man, 
David Jones, a Tory, who had gone to Canada some time 
before, and was now a lieutenant in Burgoyne's army. 
When Fort Edward was about to be abandoned, her 
brother urged her to leave with the families of the neigh- 
borhood, who were going out of danger to Albany. She 
lingered; she hoped, perhaps, to see her lover, but as 

1 Washington Irving. 


chap, danger drew nearer she prepared to comply with her 

! brother's request. 

1777 - At the moment of leaving, a band of Indians sent by 

Burgoyne to harass the Americans burst into the house, 
and carried her off a captive. Anxious for her safety, she 
promised her captors a reward, if they would take her to 
the British camp. On the way the Indians quarrelled as 
to who should have the promised reward, and one of them 
in a rage killed the poor girl, and carried off her scalp. 
This murder sent a thrill of horror throughout the land. 
The people remembered the murders of former days, when 
the Indians were urged on by French influence; and now 
they asked, Must those scenes be re-enacted by the sav- 
age hirelings of England, our mother country? And they 
flocked in thousands to repel such an enemy. Thus "the 
blood of this unfortunate girl was not shed in vain. Ar- 
mies sprang up from it. Her name passed as a note of 
alarm along the banks of the Hudson; it was a rally- 
ing word among the green mountains of Vermont, and 
brought down all her hardy yeomanry." 1 

St. Leger had passed up the Oswego, and was besieg- 
Aue m & ^ort Stanwix, or Schuyler. This fort was on the 
3. Mohawk, at the carrying-place to Lake Oneida. With 
St. Leger was Sir John Johnson, with his Royal Greens, 
and his savage retainers, the Mohawks, under the cele- 
brated chief, Brant. This Brant had been a pupil in 
Wheelock's school — since Dartmouth College — estab- 
lished for the education of Indians and others. The fort 
was held by two New York regiments, under Colonels 
Gansevoort and Willet. General Herkimer raised the 
militia of the neighborhood, and went to relieve the fort. 
But owing to the impatience of his men, he fell into an 
ambuscade of Tories and Indians. Johnson's Greens were 
Tories from this vicinity, and neighbor met meighbor in 

1 Washington Irving. 


deadly conflict. It was one of the most desperate en- JjjMft 

counters of the war; quarter was neither given nor asked. " 

There were instances, when all was over, where the death- 1777 - 
grasp still held the knife plunged into a neighbor's heart. 
It seems as if the fight had been presided over by demons. 
The brave old Herkimer was mortally wounded, but lean- 
ing against a tree, he continued to encourage his men, till 
a successful sortie from the fort compelled the enemy to 
defend their own camp. The Americans retreated, tak- 
ing with them their worthy commander, who died a few 
days after. 

The fort was still in a precarious condition, and must 
be relieved. When intelligence of this came to the army, 
Arnold volunteered to march to its aid. To frighten the 
Indians he employed stratagem. He sent in advance 
the most exaggerated stories of the number of his men, 
and proclaimed that Burgoyne had been totally defeated. 
As anticipated, the Indians deserted in great numbers. 
The panic became so great that, two days before Arnold 
arrived at the fort, St. Leger had retreated, leaving his 
tents standing. Aug. 

General Schuyler now moved from Saratoga down to 
the mouth of the Mohawk, and there intrenched himself. 
The British had the full command of Lake George; but, 
with all their exertions, they were nearly out of provi- 
sions. The distance from the upper end of that lake to 
the Hudson was only eighteen miles, but so effectively 
had the draft-cattle and horses been removed that it 
seemed almost impossible to transport their baggage. 

To obtain horses for a company of dismounted Ger- 
man dragoons and seize stores collected at Bennington, 
Vermont, Burgoyne sent a detachment of Indians and 
Tories, and five hundred Germans, under Lieutenant- 
colonel Baum. He had been told that the grain and pro- 
visions deposited in that place were but poorly guarded. 


chap. He was also made to believe that five to one of the people 


- — ' were royalists. 

1777. it was soon noised abroad that the enemy were on 

the way, and the Green Mountain Boys began to assem- 
ble. Colonel Stark having been slighted, as he thought, 
at the recent appointment of officers by Congress, had 
withdrawn from the Continental army. He was invited 
to take command of the assembling yeomanry; he ac- 
cepted the invitation with joy. Expresses were sent in 
every direction to warn the people to drive off their 
cattle and horses, and conceal their grain and wagons, 
and also to Manchester, for Seth Warner to hasten to 
Bennington with his regiment. 

When Baum — who moved very slowly, his men stop- 

Aue P* n & in ^ e wo °d s ever Y f ew minutes to dress their lines — 
14. was within six miles of Bennington, he heard of Stark's 
approach; he halted, began to intrench, and sent to Bur- 
goyne for reinforcements. Colonel Breyman was sent to 
his aid, with five hundred Hessians and two field-pieces. 
A severe storm prevented Stark from making an attack, 
and also retarded the march of Breyman and Warner. 
During the night the Berkshire militia joined Stark. An 
incident may show the spirit of the times: " Among 
these militia was a belligerent parson, full of fight, Allen 
by name, possibly of the bellicose family of the hero of 
Ticonderoga." 1 " General," cried he, " the people of 
Berkshire have been often called out to no purpose; if 
you don't give them a chance to fight now they will never 
turn out again." " You would not turn out now, while 
it is dark and raining, would you? " demanded Stark. 
" Not just now," was the reply. " Well, if the Lord 
should once more give us sunshine, and I don't give you 
fighting enough," rejoined the veteran, " I'll never ask 
you to turn out again." 

1 Irving. 


The next morning the sun did shine, and Stark drew J3*ap. 
out his forces. When he came in sight of the enemy, - 

turning to his men he exclaimed: " There are the red- 1777 - 
coats! We must beat to-day or Molly Stark's a widow." 16. 
The attack was made in both rear and front at the same 
time. The Indians and Tories generally fled to the woods. 
Baum defended his lines with great determination, and 
his field-pieces were well manned, but after two hours' 
fighting the works were stormed. The Americans had 
no artillery, but they rushed up within a few yards of the 
enemy's cannon, the better to take aim at the gunners. 
At length Baum fell mortally wounded, and his men sur- 

Scarcely was the battle ended, when Breyman appeared 
on the one side, and Warner, who had marched all night 
in the rain, on the other. The fighting was renewed, and 
continued till night. Favored by the darkness, Breyman 
left his artillery and made the best of his way back to Bur- 
goyne. About two hundred of the enemy were slain and 
six hundred taken prisoners. A thousand stand of arms 
and four pieces of artillery fell into the hands of the Amer- 
icans, who had but fourteen killed and forty wounded. 

What a change a few weeks had produced in the pros- 
pects of the two main armies! To the Americans the 
militia were flocking, the brigades from the Highlands 
had arrived, and Morgan with that terror of the Indians, 
his riflemen, five hundred strong. Disasters, in the mean- 
while, crowded upon Burgoyne. The side enterprises of 
St. Leger and Baum had failed; the New Hampshire and 
Massachusetts troops were pressing on toward Ticon- 
deroga to cut off his supplies and intercourse with Canada. 
The Indians, in great numbers, were deserting. They 
had taken umbrage because their atrocities were to be 
hereafter restrained. Burgoyne was a gentleman, hu- 
mane and cultivated; he abhorred these outrages, and, 
to his honor be it said, preferred that the savages should 


chap, leave his army rather than they should remain and be 

— ' unrestrained. The disgrace of employing them belongs 

1777. to his government at home, not to him. 

It was at this juncture that Gates arrived to take 
command. He found the army in high spirits, nearly 
Sept. s i x thousand in number, and increasing every day. 
Schuyler met him with his usual highminded courtesy, 
explained fully the condition of the two armies, and 
offered him all the assistance he could give, by his coun- 
sel or otherwise. So little could Gates appreciate such 
generous impulses that, a few days after, when he called 
his first council of war, he omitted to invite Schuyler. 

Leaving the islands at the mouth of the Mohawk, 
Gates moved up the river and took position on Behmus's 
Heights — a ridge of hills extending close to the river-bank 
and lying nearly east of Saratoga. There he intrenched 
his army by strong batteries on the right and left. 

Burgoyne had thrown a bridge of boats over the Hud- 
son, and led over the English portion of his army to Sara- 
toga, while the Hessians remained on the eastern side. 
Both divisions moved slowly down the river. There were 
deep ravines and woods between the two armies, and 
knolls covered with dense forests; also, in one place, a 
cleared field. On the nineteenth it was announced that the 
enemy were in motion toward the American left. Here 
Arnold commanded, while Gates took charge of the right. 
It was the intention of the British to draw the Americans 
in that direction and then to make an assault on their 
centre, when thus weakened, and cut their way through 
to Albany. Gates designed to wait the attack in his 
camp, but Arnold wished to hold the enemy in check, and 
not permit them to turn the American left. After much 
solicitation, he obtained permission from Gates to send 
Morgan with his riflemen to check the enemy. The rifle- 
men soon met, and put to flight the advance-guard, but 
pursuing them with too much ardor, they came upon a 


strong column, and were themselves forced to fall back in <3*ap. 

. -X.-X-A.11I. 

confusion. Arnold now came to their aid with other regi- 

ments, and soon he was contending almost hand to hand 1777 - 
with the entire British right wing. He sent repeatedly 
to Gates for reinforcements, which the latter refused to 
send, and excused himself on the ground that he would 
thus weaken his own wing; and Arnold, with only three 
thousand men, was left for four hours to sustain the at- 
tack. The severest conflict was around, and in the open 
field. The Americans were posted on the one side in a ^P** 
dense wood, where cannon could not be used; the British 
on the opposite side in a thin pine grove, where they could 
use their artillery. When the British would move into 
the field, the American riflemen would drive them back, 
and when the Americans became the pursuers, the British 
would sweep their ranks with their cannon. A dozen 
times this field was lost and won. The riflemen repeat- 
edly took possession of the British artillery, but the rough- 
ness of the ground would not permit them to secure the 
guns; and before they could turn them, they themselves 
were driven off at the point of the bayonet. Night ended 
the contest; the Americans withdrew to their camp, and 
the British remained on the field of battle. The latter 
lost more than five hundred, while the Americans lost 
less than three hundred. They looked upon the result 
as a triumph; they had accomplished all they intended, 
and the enemy had failed in their designs. 

Two days before the battle of Behmus's Heights, a 
detachment of Lincoln's militia, under Colonel Brown, 
had seized the posts at the outlet of Lake George; also 
a fleet of bateaux laden with provisions for Burgoyne's 
army, and three hundred prisoners. The same party 
united with another, and laid siege to Ticonderoga. 

Burgoyne's intercourse with Canada was thus cut off; 
his provisions were fast diminishing, and his horses were 
dying for want of forage. At this moment of darkness 


chap, came a gleam of light — a note from Sir Henry Clinton — 

. ' informing him that in a few days he would make an effort 

1777 - to ascend the Hudson. In hopes of maintaining his posi- 
tion until Clinton could relieve him, Burgoyne began to 
fortify his camp. For nearly three weeks the two armies 
watched each other. Almost every day advanced parties 
skirmished, but as Gates was deficient in ammunition, 
he hesitated to attack. 

Meantime there was trouble in the American camp. 
The soldiers attributed the success of the late battle to 
the generalship of Arnold. But for some reason, jealousy 
perhaps, Gates removed him from his command. 

Hearing nothing further from Clinton, Burgoyne re- 
solved to risk a battle, and cut his way through the oppos- 
ing force. He therefore sent a detachment of fifteen 
hundred picked men to take position within a mile of the 
Oct. American lines. A New Hampshire brigade attacked 
this division furiously, and Morgan, with his riflemen, 
managed to cut them off from their camp. 

Arnold was in his tent, brooding over the treatment 
he had received, and had almost resolved to leave the 
army. Suddenly he heard the noise of battle; his ruling 
passion was instantly on fire. Mounting his horse, he rode 
with all speed to the scene of conflict. Gates, who saw 
him as he dashed away, exclaimed: " He will do some 
rash thing," and sent after him orders, by Major Wilkin- 
son, to return; but in vain, — Arnold heard only the roar 
of battle. He rushed into the thickest of the fight, cheered 
on the men, who answered him with shouts of recognition. 
To those looking on, he seemed insane. By his exertions 
the British lines were broken again and again, but as often 
General Frazer would rally his men and renew the conflict. 
Presently Frazer fell mortally wounded by one of Morgan's 
riflemen. The whole line gave way, abandoned their can- 
non, and with the greatest effort regained their camp. In 

burgoyne's surrender. 481 

spite of a shower of grape and musketry, the Americans J^^ 

rushed headlong to the assault. Arnold rode directly into ' 

a sally-port, where his horse was shot under him, and he 1777 * 
himself was severely wounded — a ball had shattered his 
leg. His men now fell back. A regiment of Massachu- 
setts men, more fortunate, forced their way through the 
German intrenchments, and maintained their position for 
the night, and secured a large amount of ammunition. 

The Americans slept on their arms, intending to renew 
the contest in the morning. But when morning came, 
Burgoyne's army, drawn up in order of battle, appeared 
on the heights in the rear. During the night he had 
abandoned his sick and wounded, and skilfully led off his 
men. The next day he retreated to Saratoga, six miles 
distant. It was to cover this retreat that he ordered 
General Schuyler's mansion and extensive saw mills to be 
burned. That he might continue his retreat, he sent a 
party to repair the bridges toward Fort Edward, but they 
found the way occupied by the Americans, who had taken 
nearly all the boats laden with provisions for his army. 
All the passes by which he could extricate himself were 
in the hands of his enemy; cannon-balls and bullets fell 
almost every moment in his camp. He had only three 
day's provisions; his effective force was reduced to four 
thousand men, and they were dispirited, worn out with 
hunger and fatigue» Not a word had he heard from Clin- 
ton, while the American aimy, already twelve thousand 
strong, was increasing daily. 

Burgoyne now called a council of war, which resolved 
to open negotiations with General Gates. Having heard 
that Clinton, a few days previous, had succeeded in taking Oct 
two of the forts on the Hudson, and that he might possi- 13 * 
bly reach Albany, Gates was disposed to make liberal 
terms. The conditions of the surrender were: That the 
British army should march out with the honors of war; 
that the soldiers should be taken to Boston, and thence 


chap, to England; and they were not to serve against the 

I United States until exchanged. The number of prisoners 

1777. was about six thousand; the arms, artillery, and military 
stores were immense. The German regiments saved their 
colors; they took them off their staves, and concealed 
them among the baggage of the Baroness de Riedesel. 1 
The British garrison of Ticonderoga evacuated that place 
and retired to Canada. 

Congress refused to ratify the terms under which Bur- 
goyne surrendered. His soldiers, if taken to England, 
would doubtless be placed in garrison, while those thus 
relieved would be sent to reinforce Clinton at New York. 
Only Burgoyne himself, with two attendants, was per- 
mitted to proceed to England, while the soldiers were 
retained as prisoners. The following year they were 
marched to Charlottesville, in Virginia, where they were 
quartered in log huts, and where the greater number of 
them remained till the close of the war. 

As has been already stated, the garrisons in the High- 
lands were much weakened, by sending detachments both 
to the North and to the South. Sir Henry Clinton had 
received the long expected reinforcements from England, 
and he now proposed to force his way up the Hudson, in 
order to unite with Burgoyne. On the day before that 
general's last battle, Clinton attacked and captured the 
q ' Forts Montgomery and Clinton. Though the New York 
militia turned out well, the forts could not be maintained. 
Governor George Clinton commanded. He sent to Put- 
nam for aid, which he would have received had not the 
messenger turned traitor, and deserted to the enemy. 
Under the directions of Governor Tryon, Kingston, or 
Esopus, was burned. When these marauders heard that 

1 This lady accompanied her husband, Baron de Riedesel, during 
this campaign. She has left a thrilling narrative of the trying scenes 
at Saratoga. 


Burgoyne had surrendered they retreated, setting fire to J^& 

every house within reach. This was about the very time ' 

that Burgoyne and his army were receiving liberal terms 1777 - 
of capitulation. 

General Gates, in transmitting his report of the sur- 
render, did not send it to the Commander-in-chief, as was 
his duty, and as courtesy required, but sent it directly to 
Congress. The soldiers in the army attributed the success 
of the battles at Saratoga to the skilful management of 
Arnold and Morgan. Gates did not even mention their 
names in his full dispatches to Congress. 

Soon after, General Schuyler insisted that his man- 
agement of the Northern Department, previous to the 
appointment of Gates, should be investigated. 

A Court of Inquiry was instituted, and he was not 
only acquitted of the charge of mismanagement of any 
kind, but with the highest honor. Though strongly urged 
by Congress to remain in the army, he declined. He had 
too much self-respect to continue in a position where he 
could be made a victim of unfriendly prejudice, yet too 
patriotic to relinquish his country's cause. Soon after 
he took his seat as a member of Congress. 



Sufferings at Valley Forge. — England disappointed; conciliatory 
measures of Parliament. — The War presses hard upon the 
American People. — Difficulties and Jealousies in Congress. — 
The "Conway Cabal." — Baron Steuben. — Attempt to increase 
the Army. — Congress in Want of Funds. — Exchange of Lee; 
his Treason. — Treaty with France. — Encouragements. — British 
Commissioners. — Philadelphia evacuated. — Battle of Monmouth. 
— Misconduct of Lee. — The French Fleet. — Combined attack 
upon Newport fails. — Marauding Expeditions. — A British Fleet. 
— Massacre at Wyoming and Cherry Valley. — Invasion of 

xxxFv ^ HE surren der of Burgoyne revived the hopes of the 

■ Whigs and sent dismay into the ranks of the Tories. 

1778. rphg American soldiers suffered intensely in their rude 
huts at Valley Forge. For days at a time without meat, 
and again without bread; no medicines for the sick, nor 
comfortable lodgings. Many of the soldiers were so defi- 
cient in clothes that they could not lie down, lest they 
should freeze to death, but were forced to sit round their 

These were the men, few of whose names have ever 
reached us, but who clung to their country's cause in this 
hour of suffering, and who, in the day of battle, poured 
out their life's blood. They were, for the most part, the 
intelligent yeomanry of the land; from the farm, from the 
workshop, from the merchant's store; supporters of their 
own families, or sustainers of orphan brothers and sisters. 
What a contrast with the common soldiers of the invad- 


ing army! They were, in part, the enlisted rabble of the c hap. 
British Isles. In their bosoms there was not a throb of 1 

generous feeling, nor with them was it a question in what 1778 - 
cause, or on what field they fought; and yet in the same 
army were others, even more degraded, drawn from "the 
shambles of petty German despots." 

The king and ministry were sanguine their plans, so 
wisely laid, would be successfully carried out; that at the 
end of the campaign the American army would be broken 
and scattered; that they would have a line of posts ex- 
tending from Lake Champlain to the Bay of New York. 
Instead of the realization of these hopes, intelligence came 
that Burgoyne had surrendered his entire army. The 
sensation produced in England was great indeed. Rumors 
stole into the country that France, their ancient enemy, 
was about to aid the Americans; that Holland was about 
to loan them money. England's pride was touched. 
Should she, who had made all Europe tremble, be baffled 
in her efforts to subdue her revolted colonists? A new 
spirit was awakened; many of the large commercial towns 
offered to raise regiments to supply the places of those 
surrendered at Saratoga, and present them to the king. 
Yet there were others, moved by compassion, and it may 
be by sympathy for the cause, who liberally subscribed 
money to relieve the wants of the American prisoners in 
England, whom the government had left to suffer for the 
necessaries of life. 

These sentiments had their effect on Parliament, and 
when it assembled, the friends of America renewed their 
assaults upon the policy of the king. They, from the 
first, had opposed the war as unjust, and had opposed 
the enlisting of Hessians; but more especially did they 
denounce the inhuman policy of employing savages to 
murder and scalp their brethren beyond the Atlantic. 
There were other causes of complaint. The merchants 


chap clamored for redress; the American trade was broken up; 

debts could not be collected; especially were they ag- 

1778. grieved that the slave-trade had been reduced four-fifths. 
American cruisers had already seized nearly six hundred 
of their vessels. These cruisers swarmed to such an 
extent, even in the British seas, that it became necessary 
to convoy by armed ships merchant vessels from one port 
of the kingdom to another. More than twenty thousand 
men had perished in the war; more than a hundred mil- 
lions of dollars had been expended; their expectations 
had been greatly raised, but as yet nothing was gained. 

Lord North was constrained to bring in two bills, by 
which the king hoped to reconcile his American subjects. 
On this occasion, the former declared in the House that 
he himself had always been opposed to taxing the col- 
onies. The king, in truth, was the prime mover and 
Bustainer of the measure. One of these bills exempted 
the Americans from taxation, the other appointed com- 
missioners to negotiate with them, for the purpose of 
restoring the royal authority. Thus was yielded, but 
ungraciously, the whole ground of the contest. 

The moment the French government heard of the 
passage of these bills, it proposed to acknowledge the In- 
dependence of the United States, and to make with them 
a treaty offensive and defensive. That the belligerents 
should fight and weaken each other, France was willing, 
but rather than they should become reconciled, she de- 
clared for the Americans. 

Though the war had cost England much, it had cost 
the Americans more. In many portions of the country, 
their ruthless invaders had laid waste their cultivated 
fields; in other portions they were unsown, because the 
husbandmen were in the army; property was wasting 
away; debts were accumulating, with no prospect of pay- 
ment. The Bills of Credit issued by Congress were almost 


worthless. As with individuals, so with the State; both chap 
were bankrupt. On the sea-board, foreign commerce, the 

coasting trade, and the fisheries were carried on at such 1778 - 
risks as to be almost annihilated. Nine hundred vessels 
had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The loss of life 
had been great; not so many had perished on the field of 
battle, but disease, the deficiency of necessary comforts in 
hospitals, the want of clothes and of wholesome food, had 
as effectively done the work of death. Multitudes died 
miserably, either in the jails and loathsome prison-ships 
of the enemy, or contracted diseases which clung to them 
through life. These calamities, instead of depressing the 
patriots, roused their indignant spirits to more determi- 
nation. They would listen to no terms of reconciliation 
with England, short of absolute independence. 

Congress was embarrassed more and more. That 
noble spirit of conciliation and mutual forbearance which 
distinguished the members of the Old Congress was not 
so prominent. Many of the ablest members had retired 
to take part in the recently organized governments of 
their own States, or to attend to their private affairs, 
lest their families should come to want; and some had 
been sent on foreign missions, and some were in the army. 

There were other difficulties; jealousies between 
northern and southern men still existed in the army, 
and jealousies between American officers and some of 
those of foreign birth. Congress, now numbering not 
more than twenty or thirty members, manifested an un- 
due prejudice against the army, because the officers and 
soldiers earnestly urged that their wants should be sup- 
plied. Washington protested against this spirit, and 
showed the unreasonableness of such a prejudice. After 
remarking that in other countries the army was looked 
upon with suspicion in time of -peace, he adds: " It is our 
policy to be prejudiced against them (the troops) in time 


xxxfv °* waT} though t nev are citizens, having all the ties and 

interests of citizens." In violation of military usage, 

1778 - and contrary to his advice, Congress made several pro- 
motions in the army which not only slighted but wronged 
some of its best and bravest officers. 

While Washington labored at Valley Forge to keep 
the army together, and to prevent its disbanding from 
sheer necessity, a few were intriguing to remove him from 
the command. Some members of Congress, a few officers, 
and perhaps some others joined in what was known as the 
"Conway Cabal," a name derived from the Irish adven- 
turer already mentioned, who, if not the prime mover in 
the plot, was a pliant tool of others. The whole truth on 
the subject can never be fully known, as each actor ever 
after desired to conceal the part he had taken in the affair. 
By means of anonymous letters, underhand appeals, de- 
signed to seduce the officers of the army, and other dis- 
honorable measures, the attempt was made to defame 
Washington; to draw invidious comparisons between his 
military successes and those of Gates; and to destroy 
that confidence which the people and soldiers reposed in 
his integrity. They dared not attack him openly, but by 
these means they hoped to disgust him with his office 
and induce him to resign; and General Gates, their hero, 
would receive the appointment of Commander-in-chief. 
Thus the intrigue was carried on for months. General 
Mifflin and Gates himself were prominent in the scheme, 
but their efforts to win over Lafayette signally failed. 
Anonymous letters were sent to Henry Laurens, President 
of Congress, and to Patrick Henry, then Governor of Vir- 
ginia; but these high-minded men forwarded them at 
once to the Commander-in-chief. Washington himself, 
though he knew to some extent of the existence of these 
plots, never publicly noticed them, nor turned aside a mo- 
ment from his great work. He was only anxious lest the 


*nemy should learn of these dissensions. But when it chap. 


was proposed in Congress to appoint Conway inspector of 

the army he remonstrated, and in writing to Richard 1778 - 
Henry Lee, then a member, he says: " General Conway's 
merit as an officer and his importance in this army exist 
more in his own imagination than in reality." Yet Con- 
gress, under the influence of the Cabal, appointed Con- 
way " Inspector of the Armies of the United States!" 
— with the rank of major-general. 

Ere long intelligence of these intrigues stole abroad. 
So great was the indignation which burst forth from the 
officers and soldiers, from the Legislatures of the States, 
and from the people themselves, that the Cabal cowered 
before it. 

The effect of this abortive attempt to remove Wash- 
ington from the chief command was only to strengthen his 
hold on the confidence of the nation. The invidious com- 
parisons made between his successes and those of Gates 
were unjust, but that some persons should be influenced 
by them is not strange. "The Washington of that day 
was not Washington as we know him, tried and proved 
by twenty years of the most disinterested and most suc- 
cessful public services." The capture of Burgoyne at 
Saratoga was due to his plan of defence, as concerted with 
Schuyler, and not to General Gates. In his effort to save 
Philadelphia he was surrounded with almost insurmount- 
able difficulties. His army, ill-equipped and imperfectly 
disciplined, was smaller than that of Howe's; the scene 
of operation was in a region filled with Tories, who gave 
every facility to the British. He says himself: " Had the 
same spirit pervaded the people of this and the neighbor- 
ing States, as the States of New York and New England, 
we might have had General Howe nearly in the same 
situation of General Burgoyne." 

We may here anticipate. Conway found his position 


chap, unenviable, and he sent to Congress a note complaining 

' that he had been ill-treated, and intimated that he would 

1778. resign because he was ordered to the Northern Depart- 
ment. His self-complacency never doubted but he would 
be urged to remain as " Inspector." But Congress, 
ashamed of having ever appointed him, interpreted it as 
a resignation, and gladly accepted it. No explanation 
of Conway, though urged in person, could induce them 
to change their decision. Some time afterward he was 
wounded in a duel with General Cadwallader, who had 
charged him with cowardice at the battle of German- 
town, and also of derogatory remarks in relation to the 
Commander-in-chief. When he thought himself near 
death, Conway wrote to Washington: " You are in my 
eyes the great and good man. May you long enjoy the 
love, veneration, and esteem of these States, whose liber- 
ties you have asserted by your virtues." He recovered 
from his wound, and soon after he left the country. 

During the winter at Valley Forge every effort was 
made to increase the army and make it more efficient. 
To accomplish this end, Baron Steuben, a Prussian officer 
of great merit as a disciplinarian, was appointed In- 
spector, with the rank of major-general. Congress called 
upon all the States, except Georgia and South Carolina, 
for their quotas of men to the Continental army. These 
States were excused, except for local defence, in consid- 
eration of their large slave population. Several inde- 
pendent bodies of horse were raised by Count Pulaski 
and Henry Lee, who, because of his success and genius as 
a commander of light-horse, was known in the army as 
Light-Horse Harry. 

Baron Steuben soon infused his own spirit into the 
officers and men. He was prompt, and they obeyed him 
with alacrity. The tactics were taught by system, and 
the result was very gratifying. Congress designed to raise 


the army to sixty thousand, but it really never reached Sg£& 
more than half that number. Many of the more expe- ' 

rienced officers were compelled by necessity to resign; 1778 - 
their families were dependent upon them, and they re- 
ceived scarcely any pay. These resignations were unfor- 
tunate. Washington appealed to Congress in behalf of 
the officers and also of the soldiers. That body promised 
half pay for seven years to those officers who should serve 
to the end of the war, and to the soldiers thus serving a 
gratuity of eighty dollars. But the treasury was empty; 
new bills of credit were issued, and the several States were 
called upon to levy taxes for the public expenses; but 
the States were poor, and some of them were negligent. 
Their bills of credit continued to lose their value; and, to 
increase the evil, the British and Tories flooded the coun- 
try with counterfeits. The depreciation became so great 
that a pair of boots cost more than seven hundred dollars 
in some of these bills of credit. Yet it shows the patriot- 
ism of the great mass of the people that, at this time of 
despondency and distress, the British, with their prom- 
ises of gold and protection, could induce only three thou- 
sand five hundred Tories to enlist in their army. 

The office of quartermaster had been held during the 
last campaign by Mifflin; but he was seldom at his post, 
and the department was in great confusion. Many diffi- 
culties had grown out of this neglect; the army was ir- 
regularly supplied with provisions and forage, while the 
country people suffered much on account of the demands 
made upon them for provisions by unauthorized foraging 
parties. At the urgent request of Washington, Congress 
appointed General Greene quartermaster. He assumed 
the duties of the office, so irksome to him, for one year, 
but without compensation. The system with which 
Greene performed all his duties was soon apparent; the 
army was regularly furnished with provisions and ammu- 


xxxiv n ition, so that it could be ready to march at a few min- 

utes' notice. 


April. General Lee was returned to the army in exchange for 
General Prescott. Lee was as selfish as he was destitute 
of the true nobleness of a man of honor. In a document 
in his own handwriting, written when a prisoner in New 
York, dated " March 29, 1777," and endorsed by Lord 
and Sir William Howe as " Mr. Lee's plan," may be found 
the evidence of his willingness to ruin the cause of 
American Independence. In this elaborate plan he urged 
with great earnestness upon the British ministry to send 
a large force; part of which to take position at Alexan- 
dria, on the Potomac, and part at Annapolis, on the 
Chesapeake. Thus to separate the Northern and South- 
ern colonies and prevent them from aiding each other, 
while to oppose Burgoyne's advance would require all 
the force that New England could raise. He was willing 
to forfeit his life if the measure did not speedily terminate 
the war and dissolve the " Congress Government." 

For some reason the ministry did not adopt Lee's sug- 
gestion, and the document was filed away among British 
state papers, to bear testimony to the dishonesty of the 
author three-quarters of a century after his death. 1 

In the Spring, Sir William Howe, after complaining 
that his government did not furnish him a sufficiency of 
men and supplies, resigned his command, and Sir Henry 
Clinton was appointed his successor. With the exception 
of foraging parties, the British as yet made no military 
May. movements. About this time came intelligence of the 
passage of Lord North's conciliatory bills, and that the 
commissioners would soon be on their way to open nego- 
tiations. The substance of these bills was circulated very 
extensively by zealous Tories. Congress ordered them to 

1 ' ' Treason of General Charles Lee," by George H. Moore, Esq. 


be printed in the newspapers, accompanied by a severe £&£*■ 
criticism furnished by a committee of the House. 1 

Presently came the news that France had acknowl- *J 78 - 
edged the independence of the States, and had entered 30. 
into a treaty with them of commerce and defence. The 
light had dawned upon the American cause! A thrill 
of joy went throughout the land. 

The treaty between the United States and France May 
produced a great sensation in England. It is madness to 5 * 
protract the war! said the friends of America. Let us 
acknowledge the independence of the States and obtain 
their good will by liberal terms of commerce, lest our great 
rival win them to herself. But no! the idea was scouted; 
the war must be prosecuted, blood must still flow. 

In June came the commissioners to treat under Lord 
North's conciliatory bills. They were the Earl of Carlisle, 
William Eden, brother of the late governor of Maryland, 
and George Johnstone, formerly governor of Florida, and 
who had been a friend of the Americans in Parliament. 

The commissioners sent their proposals to Congress, 
but that body refused to treat until the independence of 
the States was acknowledged and the British troops with- 
drawn. As the commissioners could not grant these de- 
mands, negotiations were not commenced. Some of the 
commissioners indirectly resorted to bribery, and by means 
of a loyalist lady of Philadelphia, made propositions to 
General Joseph Reed, of ten thousand pounds and any 
office in the colonies he might choose if he would aid the 
object of the mission. To which offer he made this mem- 
orable reply: " I am not worth purchasing, but such as I 
am, the king of England is not rich enough to buy me." 

When it was known that a French fleet was expected 
on the coast, the British hastened to evacuate Philadel- 
phia and retreat to New York. Most of the stores, to- Jx *ne 
gether with the sick and wounded, were sent round by 


chap, water, while the army, twelve thousand strong, took up 

its line of march across New Jersey. Washington was 

1778. soon j n pursuit. The weather was excessively warm, and 
the heavily armed British moved very slowly. The Amer- 
icans soon came up. A council of war was held, and the 
question discussed, whether to attack the enemy and 
bring on a general engagement, or merely harass them on 
their march. Washington, with Greene and Lafayette, 
was in favor of the former manner of attack, and Lee, 
for some reason, strenuously advocated the latter. When 
it was decided to bring on a general engagement, Lee, as 
his advice had not been taken, declined to take any com- 
mand in the affair. 

Washington therefore sent Lafayette forward with 
two thousand men, to take position on the hills, and thus 
crowd Sir Henry Clinton off into the plain. The next 
morning Lee had changed his mind, and asked to be given 
a command. Washington sent him forward with two 
brigades, and when he came up with Lafayette, being 
of superior rank, he assumed the command of the entire 
advance division. 

The British encamped near Monmouth Court-house. 
There were morasses and groves of woods in the vicinity, 
a difficult place in which to manoeuvre troops. 
J 2g e When Lee advanced, he found a force of apparently 

about two thousand on the march, but a portion of the 
woods obstructed a .ull view. He made his arrangements 
to cut off this force, and sent word of his movements to 
Washington. But when he came upon the division, he 
found it much stronger than he anticipated — in truth, 
Clinton had thrown this strong force of German and Brit- 
ish there for the express purpose of giving the Americans 
a severe check. 

The battle had scarcely begun, before occurred a mis- 
apprehension of orders. The Americans began to retreat, 
and Lee, in the hurry of the moment, forgot to send word 


of the movement to Washington, who was advancing with chai» 

the main body to his support. The retreat had passed 

into almost a flight. When Washington met the troops 1778 - 
he inquired why they were retreating. The reply was, 
they did not know, but they had received the order. Sus- 
pecting that this movement was designed to mar the plan 
of attack, he spurred on, and presently met Lee, of whom 
he demanded, in a stern manner: " What is the meaning 
of all this, sir? " Lee, disconcerted, hesitated for a mo- 
ment to reply, and was asked again. He then began to 
explain that the confusion had arisen from disobedience 
of orders; and, moreover, he did not wish to meet the 
whole British army. Washington rejoined, " that he un- 
derstood it was a mere covering party," adding: " I am 
very sorry that you undertook the command unless you 
meant to fight the enemy." Lee replied that he did not 
think it prudent to bring on a general engagement. 
" Whatever your opinion may have been," replied Wash- 
ington disdainfully, " I expect my orders to be obeyed." 
This conversation took but a moment. 

Washington hastily formed the men on a rising 
ground. The enemy came up in force, and other divi- 
sions of the Americans also mingled in the conflict. Night 
ended the battle. The Americans slept upon their arms, 
expecting to renew the contest in the morning. But 
Clinton skilfully drew off his army during the night, and 
at daylight was far on his way. Washington did not at- 
tempt to pursue, as the weather was intolerably warm, 
and the march through a sandy region, destitute of water. 
The Americans lost altogether about two hundred, many 
of them on account of the extreme heat: the British 
about three hundred in the battle, and on the march 
two thousand Hessians deserted. 

After refreshing his men, Washington marched across 
New Jersey, passed the Hudson, and took position at 
White Plains, to be ready to co-operate with the French 


chap fleet in an attack upon New York. Lord Howe had 
'scarcely left the Delaware when Count D'Estaing ap- 

1778. peared with a squadron. While at sea, D'Estaing com- 
municated with Washington by letter. Finding that 
the British had evacuated Philadelphia, he put to sea, 
and soon anchored off Sandy Hook. 

The day after the battle, Lee wrote a note, disre- 
spectful in its tone, to Washington, who replied; and this 
produced another note from Lee, still more offensive, de- 
manding a court of inquiry, and in the mean time inti- 
mating that he should retire from the army. The court 
found him guilty of disobedience of orders and disrespect 
to the Commander-in-chief, and sentenced him to be sus- 
pended for one year from the army. He retired to his 
estate in Virginia, and there beguiled his leisure in writing 
scurrilous letters concerning the army and its commander. 
When his sentence of suspension was about to expire, he, 
for some fancied neglect, wrote an insolent letter to Con- 
gress. That body immediately dismissed him from the 
army. Thus ended the military career of General Charles 
Lee. A few years afterward he died in Philadelphia. His 
life had been that of the soldier; and in the delirium of 
death he murmured, " Stand by me, my brave grena- 
diers! " 

The French fleet brought Monsieur Gerard as ambas- 
sador to the United States, and also Silas Deane, Doctor 
Franklin and Arthur Lee, with whom, on the part of the 
United States, the treaty had been made. 

Howe ran his ships within the bay of New York, and 
as the large vessels of the French could not pass the bar 
at Sandy Hook, the combined attack upon the city was 
abandoned. Instead, it was resolved to make an attack 
upon Newport, on the island of Rhode Island. This was 
a British stronghold and depot, and garrisoned by six 
thousand men under General Pigot. The brutality of 
these British troops had excited against them the bitterest 


hatred, and when called upon by General Sullivan, who ^gg^fy 

was in command, thousands of the militia of the surround- 1 

ing country flocked to avenge their wrongs. John Han- 1778 - 
cock, on this occasion, led the Massachusetts militia, as 
general. D'Estaing sailed to Newport, where he arrived 
a week before the force sent by Washington under Greene 
and Lafayette. This unavoidable delay ruined the enter- 
prise. When the Americans appeared, the British guard 
left the works on the north end of the island and retired 
to their inner lines. The Americans immediately passed A £&- 
over and occupied the abandoned works. The very day 
of this occupancy, Lord Howe appeared with a fleet, and 
D'Estaing went out to give him battle. They both ma- 
noeuvred their fleets to obtain the advantage of position, 
when a terrible storm arose and separated them. 12. 

In the mean time the Americans moved near the ene- 
my's works, and commenced to cannonade them, expect- 
ing that the French fleet would soon return to their aid. 
D'Estaing did return, but instead of landing the four 20 
thousand troops on board, he set sail for Boston to refit 
his vessels, which the late storm had shattered. 

The Americans now abandoned their lines, and by 
night retreated, repulsing the division of the enemy sent 
in pursuit. It was time, for the British were strongly 
reinforced from New York by four thousand troops, un- 
der Clinton himself. 

To deceive the enemy, and escape safely from the 
island, Sullivan sent a party to occupy a hill in sight of 
the British lines. The party began to throw up intrench- 
ments, and in the evening pitched their tents; but as 
soon as it was night they silently decamped, and in the 
morning were all safely on the main land. 

A great clamor arose because D'Estaing failed to co- 
operate with the Americans at Newport. Subsequent 
investigation seemed to justify him; at least, Congress 
passed a resolution approving his conduct. This may, 


chap however, have been mere policy, as Congress was unwill- 

-A. A. -V 1 V . 

- ing to offend the French by passing a vote of censure. 

1778. The war degenerated into marauding expeditions 

against defenceless villages. The first object of this bar- 
barity was the island of Martha's Vineyard, whose in- 
habitants were stripped of everything the robbers could 
carry off. The towns of New Bedford and Fair Haven 

Sept. were wantonly burned, and also seventy vessels in their 
ports. Scenes of cruelty were enacted in New Jersey, 

Oct. where an American regiment of horse was cut to pieces, 
and a company of infantry, when crying for quarter, 
was butchered with the bayonet without mercy. 

When it was certainly known that a French fleet had 
sailed to the United States, the English ministry sent 
Admiral Byron in pursuit. He appeared off Boston har- 
bor while the French were refitting, but did not dare at- 
tack them, and the French were unwilling to come out of 
their place of security. Lord Howe resigned his command 
into the hands of Admiral Byron. At length a storm 
arose which scattered the English fleet; then the French 

Nov. slipped out of the harbor, and sailed to the West Indies. 
On the same day, five thousand British troops sailed from 
New York for the same destination. Three weeks after, 
another expedition of three thousand sailed for Georgia; 
yet the British army remaining was far more numerous 
than the forces under Washington. 

During the summer, one of the most atrocious out- 
rages which disgraced the war was committed upon the 
settlement of Wyoming, situated in a beautiful valley on 
the Susquehanna. There had been previously much con- 
tention among the inhabitants, some of whom were Tories. 
These had been seized, and sent out of the settlement; 
July, they took their revenge with more than savage ferocity. 

After the defeat of St. Leger at Fort Schuyler, Fort 
Niagara became the headquarters of Tories and Indians; 


at that place was planned the murderous expedition. Sg£fy 

The party was guided by Tories who had lived in the val- ' 

ley. The chief leader in this expedition was John But- 17 78. 
ler, a Tory notorious for his cruelty. His force, about 
eleven hundred, was composed of his Rangers, Johnson's 
Greens, and Mohawks. There were block-houses in the 
settlement; to these the people fled in times of danger. 
Nearly all the able-bodied men were absent in the army 
under Washington. There were left only the women and 
children, the aged and infirm. Suddenly the savage 
enemy appeared at various points in the valley, and com- 
menced murdering the husbandmen in the fields, and 
burning the houses. It had been rumored that such an 
attack was meditated, and a small force had already been 
dispatched by Washington to defend the settlement. 
They had themselves, under Zebulon Butler (no relation 
of John Butler), about three hundred and fifty men. 
Unfortunately, Butler did not wait the arrival of the re- 
inforcement, but sallied forth to restrain the ravaging of 
the country. Intelligence of this intended attack was 
conveyed to the enemy, and they were fully prepared. 
The fight began, and the Tories were forced to give way, 
but the Indians passed round a swamp toward the rear. 
Butler, seeing this movement, ordered his men to fall 
back, lest they should be surrounded. This order was 
mistaken for one to retreat; all was thrown into confusion, 
and a portion, panic-stricken, fled. They were pursued 
by the Tories and Indians with unrelenting fury. The 
whole valley was desolated. Those of the people who 
escaped, fled to the mountains, and there women and 
children perished by hundreds, while some, after in- 
credible sufferings, reached the settlements. 

A month later, similar scenes were witnessed at Cherry 
Valley, in New York. The Tories and Indians were 
equally as cruel as at the Wyoming massacre. The peo- Aug. 
pie were either murdered or carried into captivity. All 


chap, the region of the upper Susquehanna, the Delaware, and 

! the Mohawk, was at the mercy of the savages. 

1778. j n the latter part of November, Clinton sent Colonel 

Campbell, with two thousand men, to invade Georgia. 
He landed three miles below Savannah, the capital, on 
the twenty-ninth of December. 

General Robert Howe, who was in command, could 
make but little resistance. He and his men behaved 
nobly, but a negro guiding the British by a path through 
a swamp, they gained the rear of the Americans, who 
were now thrown into confusion and defeated. The town 
of Savannah fell into the hands of the victors. 

General Prevost, who commanded in East Florida, 
was ordered by Clinton to pass across to Savannah, and 
there join Campbell and assume the command. On his 
march, Prevost took Sunbury, a fort of some importance. 
Arriving at Savannah, he sent Campbell to take posses- 
sion of Augusta. Thus was Georgia subdued, in the space 
of a few weeks. The British now transferred their active 
operations to the South, which became the principal 
theatre of the war till its close. 

General Benjamin Lincoln, who had been appointed 
to take command of the Southern Department, arrived 
about this time. The delegates from South Carolina 
and Georgia had solicited his appointment. 



Dissensions in Congress. — Expedition against the Indians. — The 
War in the South. — Augusta reoccupied. — Charleston threat- 
ened. — Marauding Expeditions sent to Virginia, and up the 
Hudson. — Try on ravages Connecticut. — Capture of Stony Point 
by Wayne. — Lee surprises the Garrison at Jersey City. — Com- 
bined assault upon Savannah. — Daniel Boone; Kentucky. — 
George Rogers Clarke; Kaskaskia. — Pioneers of Tennessee; 
Nashville. — John Paul Jones. 

The American army was distributed, at the end of the chap. 

year, in a series of cantonments, which extended from the '_ 

east end of Long Island Sound to the Delaware; thus 1779. 
effectually enclosing the British forces. The head-quarters 
were in a central position at Middlebrook, New Jersey. 
The British were so strong at New York and Newport, 
that to attack them with success was hopeless. The 
French fleet had been of no practical use to the Ameri- 
cans, and now Count D'Estaing took with him his land 
troops to the West Indies. 

Four years had passed since the war commenced; the 
finances of the country were still in a wretched condition. 
The enemy held important places, and were watching for 
opportunities to pillage. In the South, the Tories were 
specially active. Yet there were other elements at work, 
more injurious to the cause than even these. 

Congress was filled with dissensions. The prospect 


chap, of assistance from France caused many to relax their 

efforts, as though the war was virtually ended. Wash- 
1779. i n gton wrote, at the beginning of the year: " Our affairs 
are in a more distressed, ruinous, and deplorable condition 
than they have been since the commencement of the war." 
A large majority of Congress was carried away with the 
scheme of joining with the French in an expedition against 
Canada. But when the matter was laid before the Com- 
mander-in-chief, at a glance he saw the difficulties of the 
undertaking, and, with the comprehensive views of the 
true statesman, pointed out the disadvantages of having, 
on this continent, a power different in nation, in religion, 
and in customs from the Americans. Moreover, he de- 
sired the people of the United States to be as little under 
obligations as possible to other nations. 

For the ensuing campaign, it was evident the British 
intended to confine themselves to pillaging expeditions, 
and to cripple the Union in the South. Washington now 
recommended an expedition against the Indians, to pun- 
ish them for their outrages at Wyoming and other places. 
It was to be conducted on their own plan— to invade 
and lay waste their territory. 

In April a body of troops suddenly invaded and deso- 
lated the territory of the Onondagas. The principal ex- 
pedition, under Sullivan, went against the Senecas, to 
revenge their attack on Wyoming. With five thousand 
men he penetrated their country, met them under Brant, 
with their worthy allies, the Tories, Johnson and Butler, 
at Newtown, now Elmira and completely routed them. 
29 s ' Without giving them time to recover from their panic, 
Sullivan pursued them into the valley of the Genesee, 
and in a few weeks destroyed more than forty of their 
villages, all their cornfields, gardens, and orchards. It 
was a terrible vengeance; but the only means to prevent 
their depredations on the settlements. 


Want of food compelled the Indians and Tories to chap. 

emigrate to Canada, yet they soon after renewed their - - 

depredations, and continued them, with their usual fero- 1779 - 
city, till the end of the war. In the meanwhile, another 
successful expedition was conducted against the Indian 
towns on the Alleghany, above Pittsburg. 

As in the North, so in the South, the British entered 
into alliances with the Indians — there they induced the 
Creeks to join them. The Tories desolated the upper 
part of Georgia; but as they drew near Augusta, Colonel 
Pickens suddenly attacked and routed them. Seventy- 
five were made prisoners and condemned to death, as 
traitors; however, only five were executed. Feb. 

The next month, General Lincoln sent General Ashe, 
with two thousand men, to drive Campbell from Augusta. 
Campbell, hearing of his approach, retreated in haste, 
and Ashe pursued, but was himself surprised, some days 
after, and his entire force dispersed. The British now 
reoccupied Augusta, and opened a communication with 
the Cherokees and the South Carolina Tories. 

While Lincoln recruited his army, Prevost marched 
slowly in the direction of Charleston; and Lincoln hast- 
ened to the aid of that city. The inhabitants were 
indefatigable in their exertions to give the foe a warm 
reception. They threw up intrenchments across the neck May. 
of the peninsula, on which their city stood. Presently, 
Prevost arrived and summoned them to surrender, but 
they boldly refused. 

He prepared to enter upon a regular siege, but hearing 
of the approach of Lincoln, he first ravaged the planta- 
tions in the vicinity, carried off an immense amount of 
plunder, and three or four thousand slaves, and then re- 
treated toward Savannah, by way of the islands along the 
coast. As the hot season approached, hostilities ceased. June. 

While these events were in progress in the South, 
Clinton was fulfilling his instructions from the ministry 


chap, to send out plundering expeditions. One of these, under 

J General Mathews, he sent from New York, with twenty- 

1 J, 79 ' five hundred men, into Virginia. The fleet entered the 
8. Chesapeake, the troops landed, and plundered the towns 
of Portsmouth and Norfolk. A little higher up, at Gos- 
port, was established a navy-yard by the State; there 
they burned one hundred and thirty merchant ships, and 
several war- vessels on the stocks. The facilities afforded 
the enemy by the rivers to pass from point to point, and 
the danger of the slaves rising, prevented much resist- 

When these soldiers returned, Clinton went up the 
Hudson, against the posts Verplanck's and Stony Points. 
These forts protected King's Ferry, a very important 
crossing-place, on the main road from the eastern to the 
middle States. The works at Stony Point — not yet fin- 
ished — were abandoned; and the garrison at Verplanck's 
Point were forced to surrender. 

The next expedition, of twenty-five hundred men, was 
under Tryon, whose barbarities, on such occasions, have 
justly rendered his name infamous. Tryon plundered 
New Haven, and burned Fairfield and Norwalk. In the 
J uly course of a few days he burned two hundred and twenty- 
five private dwellings, half as many barns and stores, and 
five places of worship. Many of the inhabitants were 
murdered or subjected to the brutal passions of the sol- 
diers. This "journeyman of desolation," so insensible to 
the promptings of humanity, contemplated these out- 
rages with pleasure, and afterward even claimed for him- 
self the honor of having exercised mercy, because he did 
not burn every dwelling on the coast of New England. 

Clinton had been grossly deceived by the Tories, who 
assured him that the principal inhabitants of Connecticut 
were so much dissatisfied because their homes were not 
protected by the American army, that they were about to 
withdraw from the cause, and put themselves under Brit- 


ish protection. And it was thought a few more such chap. 
expeditions would accomplish this result. 1 

Washington now devised a plan to recapture Stony 1779 - 
Point. The fort was so situated, that to surprise it seemed 
an impossibility. He proposed to General Wayne — ' ' Mad 
Anthony" — to undertake the desperate enterprise. The 
proposal was accepted with delight. Washington himself, 
accompanied by Wayne, carefully reconnoitred the Point. 
The attempt was to be made at the hour of midnight. 
Every precaution to secure success was taken, even the 
dogs of the neighborhood were privately destroyed. A 
negro, who was in the habit of visiting the fort to sell 
fruit, and also as a spy for the Americans, was to act as 
guide. j u ly 

The men, with fixed bayonets, and, to remove the pos- 16 - 
sibility of discovery, with unloaded muskets, approached 
in two divisions, at the appointed hour. The negro, 
accompanied by two soldiers, disguised as farmers, ap- 
proached the outer sentinel and gave the countersign. 
The sentinel was seized and gagged, and the second 
treated in the same manner; at the third, the alarm was 
given, but the impetuosity of the Americans was so great, 
that in a few minutes the two divisions from the opposite 
sides of the fort met in the centre. They took more than 
five hundred prisoners. This was one of the most brilliant 
exploits of the war. How great was the contrast between 
the humanity of Wayne and the savage cruelty of the 
British in their midnight attacks with the bayonet ! 
Stedman, the British historian, records that " the con- 
duct of the Americans upon this occasion was highly 
meritorious, for they would have been fully justified in 
putting the garrison to the sword; not one man of which 
was put to death but in fair combat." When Clinton 
heard of the taking of Stony Point, he hastily recalled 
Tryon, who was about to move against New London. 

The exploit of Wayne was speedily followed by another 


chap, daring adventure by Light Horse Harry. He had learned 

'. by reconnoitring, and by means of spies, the exact condi- 

1779 - tion of the garrison at Paulus Hook, now Jersey City, 
opposite New York. Thinking themselves secure from 
attack, because of their nearness to the main army, the 
officers, as well as men, were careless. Lee asked permis- 
jg^' sion to strike a blow within " cannon-shot of New York." 
Washington directed him " to surprise the fort, bring off 
the garrison immediately, and effect a retreat," and not 
to linger, lest he should himself be overpowered. About 
two o'clock in the morning they made themselves masters 
of the fort, and secured one hundred and fifty prisoners, 
with a loss to themselves of only two men. Soon alarm 
guns roused the garrison in New York, and Lee Com- 
menced his retreat. The exploit redounded much to his 
credit, and that of his company of horse. In compliment, 
Congress voted Wayne, as well as Lee, a gold medal. 

An effort w T as again made to take Savannah. Count 
D'Estaing appeared with his fleet from the West Indies, 
and General Lincoln marched to aid in the siege. Several 
North Carolina regiments had been sent by the Com- 
mander-in-chief, and the militia turned out well. Prevost 
made every exertion to defend himself. But D'Estaing 
soon grew impatient; he must return to the West Indies 
lest the British fleet might accomplish some enterprise of 
importance. The siege must be either abandoned, or the 
Oct. town taken by assault. The latter was resolved upon; 
9 - and it was undertaken with great disadvantages staring 
the assailants in the face. After they had carried some 
of the outworks, the Americans were forced to retire. 
Count Pulaski, when gallantly leading his men, was mor- 
tally wounded. The French, who were at the post of the 
greatest danger, were also repulsed, and D'Estaing him- 
self was wounded. Lincoln now retreated to Charleston, 
disbanded the militia, and the Count sailed to the West 
Indies. Thus, for the second time, the French, under the 


same officer, failed to co-operate efficiently with the chap. 
Americans. Very great dissatisfaction was excited at * 

this throughout the country. 1779 » 

Clinton obeyed his instructions from home, evacuated 
Newport, and concentrated his main force at New York, 
which place he thought in danger of a combined attack 
from the Americans and French. In truth, Washing- 
ton, in expectation of such aid, had called out the militia 
for that purpose, but when he heard that the French had 
sailed for the West Indies, he dismissed them, and went 
into winter-quarters near Morris town, New Jersey. ^5" 

When the coast was clear, Clinton sent seven thou- 
sand men by sea to Savannah, and soon after sailed him- 
self with two thousand more, leaving a powerful garrison 
in New York, under the command of Knyphausen. 29°' 

Some years before the commencement of the war, 
Daniel Boone, the bold hunter and pioneer, had visited 
the region of Kentucky. Attracted by the fertility of the 
soil, the beauty of the forests, and the mildness of the 
climate, in connection with others he formed a settlement 
on the Kentucky river. Thither Boone took his wife and 
daughters, the first white women in that region. There, 1773 « 
during the war, these bold pioneers were in perils, fight- 
ing the Indians and levelling the forests. Harrod, an- 
other bold backwoodsman, founded Harrodsburg. The 
territory on the lower Kentucky had been purchased of 
the Cherokees. Though Dunmore, the governor of Vir- 
ginia, denounced the purchase as illegal, yet in spite of 
his proclamation, and the hostility of the Indians, the 
people, in numbers, emigrated to that delightful region. 

The Indians at the West were becoming hostile under 
the influence of British emissaries. The principal actor 
in this was Hamilton, the commandant at Detroit, against 
which place Congress resolved to send an expedition. 


chap. While this was under consideration, George Rogers Clarke, 

' an adventurous Virginian, set out from Pittsburg on an 

1779. expedition against Kaskaskia, an old French town on the 
Mississippi. Clarke, though a backwoodsman of Ken- 
tucky, acted under the authority of Virginia. With two 
hundred men he floated in boats down the Ohio to the 
Falls, and there, on an island, thirteen families, his follow- 
ers, made a settlement. Joined by some Kentuckians, he 
proceeded down the river, to near its mouth. Then hiding 
his canoes, the company struck through the woods to Kas- 
kaskia. This town was claimed by the English since the 
surrender of Canada. The inhabitants were at once con- 
ciliated when they heard of the alliance between the 
United States and France, and when they saw their re- 
1778 ligion respected and their property protected. Clarke 
July, also entered into friendly relations with the Spaniards 
west of the Mississippi at St. Louis. When he returned 
to the Falls, he built a stockade fort on the south side of 
the Ohio; this was the germ of the present city of Louis- 
ville. Virginia claimed the region north of the Ohio, as 
conquered territory, erected it into the county of Illinois, 
and made arrangements to keep possession of it. 

Other bold pioneers were, about the same time, pene- 
trating the wilderness further south. James Robertson, 
from North Carolina, who, eleven years before, led emi- 
grants to settle on the head-waters of the Tennessee, now, 
May. with a company, crossed over into the valley of the Cum- 
berland. They passed down that river till they found a 
desirable location, a bluff on its south shore. The com- 
pany altogether amounted to nearly fifty persons. There, 
in the midst of the primeval forest, more than a hundred 
miles from the nearest settlement, they cleared some land 
and planted corn. Three of their number remained to 
guard the growing crop, and the others returned to bring 
their families. Emigration now began : one party set out 
through the wilderness, driving their cattle before them; 



another, with the women and children, went on board of xxxv. 
boats, on the head-waters of the Tennessee. They were 
to pass down that river to its mouth, thence find their 
way up the Cumberland to the chosen spot. A laborious 
journey of more than six months brought them to their 
anxious friends. The settlement increased with great 
rapidity, notwithstanding the hostility of the Indians. 
Such were the beginnings of the now prosperous and 
beautiful city of Nashville. 

Congress, from time to time, made efforts to increase 
the Continental navy, but many of the vessels had been 
iost. The privateers had aroused the ire and the vigi- 
lance of the entire British navy. Yet some American 
cruisers, fitted out in France, fearlessly sailed in quest of 
the enemy. The most distinguished of these command- 
ers was John Paul Jones, a native of Scotland, but who 
had been brought to Virginia in childhood. He was one 
of the first officers commissioned by Congress for the 
navy. Jones, in command of the Ranger, of eighteen 
guns, spread terror around England, and even made a 
descent on the coast of Scotland. 

A small squadron of five French and American ships 
was fitted out at Lorient, and placed under his com- 
mand, to cruise in the British seas. Off the coast of 
Scotland, he met with a fleet of merchantmen, convoyed 
by a frigate and another armed vessel. It was night, and Sept 
the battle, the most desperate in the annals of naval war- 23 - 
fare, lasted three hours. Jones lashed his flag-ship, the 
Richard, to the British frigate Serapis, and thus, muzzle 
to muzzle, they poured into each other their broadsides. 
At length, both the English ships surrendered. Jones' 
flag-ship vas so damaged, that in a few hours it went to 
the bottom. 































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